The making of a prison town (Prison Town) — High Country News:
With the farms and base gone, Adelanto turned to prisons. During the 1980s, under increasingly stringent drug laws and harsh sentencing policies, demand for new prisons had grown. So had the belief that prisons could nourish economic development in rural communities. In California, the prison boom took off throughout the Central Valley and in the desert regions outside Los Angeles and San Diego, in poor rural towns with high black and Latino populations, too far from major metro areas for suburban growth. As Ruth Gilmore writes in Golden Gulag, the new prisons were sited on previously irrigated and cultivated land, taken out of production by the interrelated forces of “drought, debt, and development.”
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