4 President Street, Athens, Ohio 45701

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Talk by Dr. Judah Schept: Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia: Fri, Apr 19, 2024

Dr. Judah Schept, professor at Eastern Kentucky University, will discuss his book. 


Central Appalachia is home to 16 prisons, including eight in Eastern Kentucky. The prisons, along with the many county jails, often are built adjacent to and even on top of former sites of mining, including mountaintop removal sites, and are built into community planning approaches to crises of unemployment, population loss, and declining revenues. In Coal, Cages, Crisis, author Judah Schept  links prison growth to other sites in this landscape—coal mines, coal waste, landfills, and incinerators—to show that the prison boom has less to do with crime and punishment and much more with the overall extraction, depletion, and waste disposal processes that characterize dominant development strategies for the region.


Drawing from this new book, Judah Schept will discuss the sprawling carceral geography of the region, the principled work to oppose it, and the futures that hang in the balance.

This event is a lecture in the Colloquium series in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. It is generously co-sponsored by the Center for Law, Justice and Culture, Departments of History, Geography, and Political Science, and the Honors Tutorial College.

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  • Chaise Brown

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