The Warehouse: A Visual Primer on Mass Incarceration (e-Book)

SKU: 9798887440521
Creators: James Kilgore and Vic Liu
Series: PM Press
ISBN: 9798887440521
Published: 06/04/2024
Format: epub, mobi, and PDF
Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 208
Subjects: Penology, Activism & Social Justice, Criminology, Civil Rights
Price: $8.95

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Mass incarceration is a lived, sensory experience.

The most eye-popping statistics alone cannot relate the enormity of its psychological and societal impacts. This concise, illustrated primer is a collaboration between one of mass incarceration’s sharpest opponents, James Kilgore, and information artist Vic Liu. It brings to life the histories and means of daily survival of the marginalized people ensnared in this racist, ableist system of class-based oppression. The book elegantly weaves together the most insightful activist scholarship with vivid testimonials by incarcerated people as they fight back against oppression and imagine freedom.

Those targeted for incarceration do not simply submit to a monochromatic existence behind bars. The Warehouse showcases the abolition futures being crafted from the inside as people resist through direct action and artistic expression. This book is designed to inform, enrage, and ultimately inspire the same radical hope propelling incarcerated underminers of the carceral state.


“James Kilgore, one of my favorite commentators on mass incarceration, has joined with information artist Vic Liu to create a wonderfully attractive and accessible primer on the US carceral state. Grounded in empathy, this volume highlights the inspiring resistance that has emerged against this system of oppression and control.”
—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

“If you’ve been searching for an accessible introduction to mass criminalization in the US, look no further than The Warehouse. This book is visually captivating and full of valuable information for youth and adults alike. I’ll be gifting this book to people for years to come and will recommend it to everyone who asks me the question: ‘What is mass incarceration?’”
—Mariame Kaba, author of We Do This ’til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice

“An essential resource for classroom teaching and movement building from someone on the front lines of the battle to dismantle the prison-industrial complex.”
—Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing

“Through crystal-clear prose and striking illustrations, The Warehouse maps the jagged landscape of mass incarceration, leaving the reader both utterly convinced of the system’s injustice and keenly equipped to help dismantle it. The Warehouse manages to be both sweeping in scope and imminently practical: an essential primer for organizers, scholars, journalists, students, and anyone who dreams of an end to oppressive systems. Next time someone asks me to explain incarceration, I will simply hand them this brilliant book!”
—Maya Schenwar, coauthor of Prison by Any Other Name

“This book vividly activates the senses in its sharp, accessible, and principled analysis of the scope and scale of the carceral state. From cops to cages, from ‘get tough’ politics to the economics of phone calls, e-carceration, and rural prison building, and from incremental legislative reforms to the visionary organizing of abolitionists, Kilgore and Liu break down the contours of this warehouse and illuminate our paths toward dismantling it.”
—Judah Schept, author of Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia

“A visually stunning primer on how the US became the world’s incarceration nation. Read it and learn how the criminal punishment system works, whom it affects, and what we, as a society, could be doing instead.”
—Victoria Law, author of “Prisons Make Us Safer” and 20 Other Myths about Mass Incarceration

“This is the resource organizers working with communities to end mass incarceration and the expanding police state have been looking for. From seasoned veterans to those looking for an introduction into the subject, this book breaks down the historical, political, social, and economic motives behind the literal and figurative warehousing of millions of human beings in digestible and deeply impactful language and imagery. A must have for every organizer’s toolbelt.”
—Hiram Rivera, founder and executive director at Community Resource Hub for Safety & Accountability

“A smartly crafted, beautifully illustrated guide to the violence of human caging. Kilgore and Liu have created a compelling illustration of the many horrors of mass incarceration. What’s more, it shows us what change looks like. The Warehouse is a vital primer on the cruelty of American prisons and the promise of a world more just that begins when we imagine otherwise.”
—Dan Berger, author of Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power through One Family’s Journey

“James Kilgore and Vic Liu have given us an essential resource on the multiple, intertwined structures of violence that congeal in mass incarceration—from prisons, jails, and youth and migrant detention centers to solitary confinement, gender-based and sexual violence, and aging in cages to parole, probation, e-carceration, and the perils of reentry. The Warehouse braids together deeply researched analysis with crisp, powerful visualizations of data, as well as testimonies and illustrations created by formerly and currently incarcerated peoples, both tender and fierce. Crucially, Kilgore and Liu focus not only on the problem of US imprisonment, but on the resistance and innovation of the people most directly affected by it, including the artwork featured in its pages. By reflecting on movements and campaigns, they point us toward the pitfalls of reform and the horizon of abolition.”
—A. Naomi Paik, author of Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the 21st Century

The Warehouse skillfully paints a comprehensive picture of the prison system in a way that is easy to understand, visually stunning, and centers the humanity of incarcerated people. Kilgore and Liu have combined their skills to create a powerful resource for fighting and ending incarceration.”
—Sheila Nezhad, development director of Interrupting Criminalization

About the Creators

James Kilgore is a researcher and activist based in Urbana, Illinois. He is the author of six books, including the National Book Foundation Award-winning Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time. He drafted four of those volumes during his six and a half years in California prisons. He is currently a Building Community Power Fellow at Community Justice Exchange and formerly a research fellow at MediaJustice, where he founded the Challenging E-Carceration project. He is also director of advocacy and outreach for FirstFollowers Reentry Program in Champaign, Illinois.

Vic Liu is an artist and author who uses design to communicate complex information with empathy. Most recently, Vic published the expanded version of her visually designed masturbation sex-ed book, Bang! Masturbation for All Genders and Abilities, with Microcosm Publishing.

Click here for one-page information sheet on this product

The painting in The Warehouse on page 135 is by Brian Hindson.

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