States of Incarceration

States of Incarceration
  • Oak Institute for Human Rights

Institution: Colby College

States of Incarceration is a collaboration of over 800 students and others deeply affected by incarceration in 18 states and counting. The United States incarcerates the highest percentage of its people, including immigrants, than any country in the world – and at any point in its history. 

How did this happen? What new questions does the past challenge us to ask about what is happening now? To find answers, this project examines local communities’ histories through courses at universities, local teams share stories, search archives, and visit correctional facilities. Together, these stories represent a diverse genealogy of the incarceration generation. It challenges all of us to remember our own past and use the insights of history to shape what happens next.

Oak Insitute aims to add Maine to the exhibit over the course of the academic year. Our community’s history will add a different story that teaches us all something new. 

States of Incarceration is a project of the Humanities Action Lab, a coalition of universities led by Rutgers University-Newark working with issue organizations and public spaces to create traveling public projects on the past, present, and future of pressing social issues.

On view September 2021 – January 2022 in Colby College’s Diamond Atrium.