GUEST: James Kilgore, adjunct instructor of global studies and urban planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People’s Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of our Time.
The United States imprisons more people than anyone else in the world hands down. Not only is the absolute number of people we imprison greater than any other nation, but we also lead in the percentage of our population that we lock up. It is a shameful fact, behind which lie many complex factors.
Exploring those factors in a new book is James Kilgore. Kilgore knows a thing or two about prisons – he has spent several years behind bars for his radical political activism in the 1970s via his membership in the Symbionese Liberation Arm (SLA). The SLA was involved in the famed kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst in 1974.
Here is how a CBS News article described Kilgore’s story: “The Oregon native survived the 1974 shootout between the SLA and police in Los Angeles in which six SLA members died. He disappeared in 1975. After more that 25 years on the run, US Federal marshals arrested Kilgore in South Africa, where he had been living under an assumed name. He was extradited to the United States and later sentenced to six years in a prison.”
Find more at UnderstandingMassIncarceration.com.