Mass incarceration

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Suggestion from the LCSH Suggest-a-Thon in March 2018. It seems like many books about mass incarceration are given terms like “Prisons” or “Prisons–Overcrowding” because this heading isn’t yet available.


150 __ |a Mass incarceration

550 __ |w g |a Imprisonment |z United States   [broader term]

550 __ |w g |a Criminal justice, Administration of |z United States   [broader term]

550 __ |a Discrimination in criminal justice administration



Questions from Violet:

  • There is already a heading for “Prison-industrial complex” (please read the scope note). Is “Mass incarceration” the same concept? (To me they seem very related; not sure if they’re distinguishable enough to be two separate terms in LCSH.)
  • Are these the most appropriate broader terms? Are there others?
  • Are there other related terms that should be added?

One Reply to “Mass incarceration”

  1. I do not believe “Mass incarceration” and “Prison-industrial complex” are the same concept.

    The prison-industrial complex is one cause of mass incarceration, but not the only one.

    The prison-industrial complex is an actor, while mass incarceration is an activity or practice.

    That seems a pretty clear distinction, but it’s not entirely clear to me what level of granularity LCSH is aiming for.

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