Between Home Space and Prison Space
This chapter examines how carceral power informed high-rise housing projects on Chicago's South Side. Drawing on the writings of Black prisoners, it considers how urban planning, architecture, and securitization became the outward expressions of carceral power. The chapter uses Robert Taylor Homes as a case study. In particular, it documents how Robert Taylor Homes was turned into a carceral interstice, the spatial and architectural marriage between home and prison. It uses the theorizing of imprisoned intellectuals like John Woodland to identify the workings of carceral power in the Robert Taylor Homes. It shows that the Housing Act of 1949, which set the stage for the construction of the Taylor Homes, political and epistemological shifts in planning and architecture, the emergence of an economy of punishment, and the ideological use of crime fighting on the part of the state, not only facilitated the exercise of carceral power but, more important, located the project in the space between freedom and incarceration, between prison and home.
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