Beacon Press: The War on Neighborhoods
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The War on Neighborhoods

Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City

Authors: Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, Daniel Cooper

A narrative-driven exploration of policing and the punishment of disadvantage in Chicago, and a new vision for repairing urban neighborhoods

The Chicago Police Department is infamous for high-profile cases of corruption, violence, and racism. For example, between March 2011 and September 2015, citizens across the city filed more than 28,000 allegations of police misconduct, with 2,000 charges coming from a single neighborhood. In The War on Neighborhoods, Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Dan Cooper interview residents, police officers, community activists, judges, businesspeople, and those who have been in and out of the penal system in Austin, a majority-black neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side, where more than 16,000 residents were sentenced to prison in a single 5-year period. Through firsthand reporting and careful analysis, Lugalia-Hollon and Cooper show how punitive policies have maintained a perpetual state of disorder and disenfranchisement in the community rather than a sense of public safety and security. This trend can be seen nationwide: in cities across the United States, specific neighborhoods are punished and starved of investment in positive community structures that can allow residents to reach their full potential.

Incisive and informative, The War on Neighborhoods makes the case for a revolutionary reformation of our public safety model that shifts focus from punishment and police-mandated arrest quotas, and lifts up the power of residents, shores up neighborhood institutions, and addresses the effects of trauma and poverty. What the authors ultimately call for is a profound shift in how we think about investing in urban communities—away from the perverse misinvestment of incarceration and toward a model that invests in people.
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“Beyond national headlines on murder rates and inept government, Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper dig deeper to reveal the oft-missing story of disinvestment, displacement, and the structured disposability of Black and Brown people. With sincerity and a keen knack for storytelling, Lugalia-Hollon and Cooper provide an important analytical lens by which to understand the city of Chicago. A truly important read for those interested in the life of cities.”
—David Stovall, professor of African American studies and educational policy studies, University of Illinois at Chicago, and co-author of Twenty-First-Century Jim Crow Schools

“Buttressed by evocative stories and persuasive data, The War on Neighborhoods makes the case that entire communities have been at once abandoned by capital and targeted by the punishing state. As Lugalia-Hollon and Cooper demonstrate, the consequences have been devastating for residents of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood: high unemployment, poor schools, rampant drug addiction, and high rates of incarceration. This book is a clarion call to address the impacts of disinvestment and racialized/gendered criminalization on generations of people living on the West Side of Chicago and across the country. Everyone should read this book.”
—Mariame Kaba, founder and director of Project NIA

The War on Neighborhoods

ISBN: 978-080708465-6
Publication Date: 4/17/2018
Size: x
Price:  $28.95
Format: Cloth
Not Yet Published
Will Ship On: April 2018
(Backorder policy)