The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and manages the world's largest immigrant detention system. Texas is home to more for-profit prisons, jails, and detention centers than any other U.S. state. As scholars and activists work to challenge this entrenched legal and social system, there is a great need for public displays that grapple with the system's complexity and connect historical developments to the present day. This exhibition contributed greatly to the goal of undoing the normalization of the “carceral state” by bringing the otherwise secluded spaces of immigrant detention into the gallery for viewers to experience.

Created by Sarah Lopez of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and developed by Lopez and her graduate student curators, the exhibition was part of a collaboration of twenty university partners nationwide participating in “States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local...

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