James Kilgore is an activist, writer and educator based at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). He has written widely on mass incarceration, global political economy and southern African history. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, called Kilgore’s most recent book, Understanding Mass Incarceration, “an excellent, much-needed introduction to the racial, political and economic dimensions of mass incarceration”.
In addition to his writings on mass incarceration, he is also the author of three novels, all of which he drafted during his six and a half years of incarceration in Federal and state prisons in California. A firm believer in prison abolition, Kilgore has also been active in his home county of Champaign, Illinois in a campaign to resist authorities’ efforts to spend millions on a new jail.