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The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A narrative-driven exploration of policing and the punishment of disadvantage in Chicago, and a new vision for repairing urban neighborhoods

For people of color who live in segregated urban neighborhoods, surviving crime and violence is a generational reality. As violence in cities like New York and Los Angeles has fallen in recent years, in many Chicago communities, it has
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Beacon Press
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4.17  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Kasa Cotugno
Using the westernmost area in Chicago known as Austin, this book uses statistics and examples to research why an entire population is rendered vulnerable. Following WWII, many businesses that employed residents were shuttered, resulting in either improbable commutes that failed to generate working wages. Leaving the inhabitants no choice but to participate in what became to be known as "street economy," or drug trafficking. An important, sad book.
Christine
Disclaimer: Won on Librarything

One of the common fallacies you see when the topic of police shootings of unarmed African-Americans is someone saying, “well, no one ever talks about black on black shootings”. There are more than a few things wrong with such a statement. Let’s mention two. The first is that no one talks about white on white crime or, to be more exact, as many critics have pointed out, no one talks about crime rates among whites that way. The second is that such a statement doesn’t
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Gabbi Levy
My interview with Ryan Lugalia-Hollon:

THE UNITED STATES HAS the highest incarceration rate in the world, but imprisonment isn't distributed evenly around the country or even within regions.

Instead, it is concentrated in neighborhoods like Austin, on the West Side of Chicago, where the population is almost entirely black and entrenched in poverty after decades of white flight, deindustrialization, redlining and the absence of government or private investment. Most of the adult men in Austin have
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Lesley
Researchers Lugalia-Holon and Cooper take the work of Michelle Alexander a step further by looking a how punitive policing and austerity measures have exacerbated (and often created) social breakdown in Chicago’s Austin community. Tracking the social divide along the Eisenhower Expressway, the authors note the stark racial and economic divides between robust downtowns flush with city resources, and the African American Austin neighborhood “where living wage jobs are all but an urban legend” (p 3 ...more
University of Chicago Magazine
Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, AB'04
Coauthor

From the coauthor: "For people of color who live in segregated urban neighborhoods, surviving crime and violence is a generational reality. As violence in cities like New York and Los Angeles has fallen in recent years, in many Chicago communities, it has continued at alarming rates. Meanwhile, residents of these same communities have endured decades of some of the highest rates of arrest, incarceration, and police abuse in the nation.

"The War on Neighborhoods a
...more
Ellie
The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City by Ryan Lugalia-Hollon is a powerful, challenging, and often painful book. [I won it on LibraryThing] The authors take the point of view (and back it up with a great deal of research as evidenced in the many endnotes) that poor neighborhoods, filled primarily with people of color, are the target of “concentrated punishment” and that the strong law and order policies of the last 30 or 40 years have destroyed not only the ...more
Christie
This was an interesting, thoughtful read. The authors draw upon their own work, as well as research, to examine a neighborhood in Chicago that experiences high rates of incarceration and violence, and analyzes how one impacts the other and how the cycle can be changed.
Carly McCabe
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well-researched and community-centered analysis of how our society’s punitive philosophy and austerity politics have perpetuated cycles of neighborhood-level violence, poverty, and disadvantage - devastating generation after generation of residents in these neighborhoods. The authors trace the policies and paradigms that designed racial segregation, inequality, and concentrated incarceration and offer rich examples of the impact of these policies in west-side Chicagoans’ everyday lives. I appr ...more
Jack
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a serious amount of time to get through this book. It is, necessarily, a complex text, but what cost the most time was needing to pull away from the emotional reactions I had.
Thanks to the work of some amazing individuals, I've already been exposed to the facts proving mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex are harmful to our society, and the true need for prison abolition and restorative justice. But as a suburban white kid growing up in the whitest state in the US, I h
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Robertha
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book opens up by telling the story of two addicts - one black, poor, from Chicago's West Side; the other white, middle class, from the western suburbs - and posits that the very disparate life outcomes of these two men (the one whose involvement with the carceral system has left family ties and employments prospects in tatters; the other transformed into productive member of society after several failed stints in rehab) encapsulate the problems with America's racialized, two-tier justice sys ...more
Aerin
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s good to find a book about a hot topic like mass incarceration that focuses on one main area of the country so it can really get in depth. I live in Chicago, so reading about it hit close to home for me and I learned a lot about the neighborhood of Austin and policies I had previously never been aware of. The book reads like a story and is personable while also being able to state factual information and statistics.
amy reitz
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mandatory read for politicians

Gives great detail into the how and why of the circular firing squad that is our low-income high crime areas. Gives solutions too but needs more detail on those.
Luke Shepard
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. I spend a lot of time each week in neighboring Garfield Park, and loved learning about the same systemic problems that affect Austin. Particularly shocking is the level of investment in these neighborhoods , if you consider law enforcement and detention. If we redirect some of that to building up the neighborhoods then it would be a great return.
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