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This activity encourages participants to familiarize themselves with the impacts of mass incarceration on families and communities
Learning Style
Active Listening / Active Reading
Participants will practice identifying the impacts that mass incarceration has on families and communities. They will imagine and strategize ways that families and communities can support their loved ones behind bars.
1/2 Day
Intended Audience
High School or College Seminar
  1. Audioclip, Interview with Georgia Jackson
  2. Comics in Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children
  3. Georgia Jackson Remembers, Scanlans, January 1971
  4. Ja’Lenn – How to address a letter to a loved one inside


Participants will engage selected materials to better familiarize themselves with the impacts of mass incarceration on families and communities. After taking some time to engage, break folks into groups and have them discuss the following questions:

  • Georgia Jackson mentions the stigma that is assigned to people once they are incarcerated – what are some of the ways we see formerly incarcerated people stigmatized in “Prisoners of a Hard Life”?
  • What are some of the ways that Georgia Jackson supported her son during his incarceration?
  • What are some of the primary ways in which mass incarceration affects communities? Have you seen any of these impacts in your communities?
  • How do the community impacts of mass incarceration differ along race, class and gender?

Create a video, illustration, or zine that describes the impact mass incarceration has on our communities. What are the ways/strategies we can use to support our loved ones behind bars? 



Georgia Jackson: Not to Mourn

This clip is excerpted from an interview with Georgia Jackson, mother of George and Jonathan Jackson, about her sons’ deaths. Interview by Karen Wald, September 19, 1971. George Jackson Collection.