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States of Incarceration Exhibition Opening Reception

States of Incarceration is the first national traveling multi-media exhibition to explore the history and future of mass incarceration in the United States. The exhibition's visits in Chicago is in collaboration with DePaul University's Department of History, and Inside-Out program partnered with the New School and Humanities Action Lab. In the exhibition, 20 communities across the country explore the deep historical roots of incarceration, share personal stories related to the issue, and strategize ways of enacting policy change.

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States of Incarceration, on view from May 16-August 10, continues Jane Addams Hull-House Museum's engagement with those directly affected by incarceration. In 2015-16 JAHHM presented Into Body Into Wall organized by Maria Gaspar and 96 Acres that addressed Cook County Jail, the largest single site jail in the United States, and the surrounding community.

The States of Incarceration Project was created by over 500 students and others deeply affected by incarceration in 20 cities. They grew up in a United States that incarcerates more of its people, including immigrants, than any country in the world – and at any point in its history. Recently, they have witnessed a new bipartisan consensus that the criminal justice system is broken and the intense conflict over how to fix it. Together, they created a diverse genealogy of the incarceration generation. It challenges all of us to remember our own past and use the insights of history to shape what happens next.