In this reflection on MOA’s A Portrait of LA County report, Kelly Lytle Hernandez and Terry Allen connect their research on incarceration and policing in LA to the report’s findings. The same neighborhoods coded as Struggling LA and Precarious LA by the report have the highest incarceration rates, as well as high “collateral damage” of the prison system such as the cost of bail. The authors refer to these parts of the city and county as Caged LA, and argue that an understanding of urban inequality needs to incorporate patterns of incarceration into measures of human development.
Terry Allen is a doctoral student at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. He is also the Director of People & Culture at FOREFRONT, a nonprofit that focuses on innovative, long-term sustainability projects for undeveloped communities. Allen received his master’s degree in education policy from Columbia University and his bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the social and psychological costs of policing, incarceration, and criminalization. Currently, Allen is the oral history research lead for the Million Dollar Hoods project, which maps how much is spent on incarceration per neighborhood in Los Angeles County. Prior to his doctoral studies, Allen served President Barack Obama as an advance associate for the White House.