Courts across the country are looking for ways to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated or held in detention centers. One way authorities like police and immigration enforcement agents are trying to do this is by turning to a set of technologies and policies known as e-carceration. E-carceration, short for electronic incarceration, is when authorities use surveillance technology like ankle monitors, cameras, and GPS to track and control people in their own communities. 

While e-carceration might get some people out from behind bars, the same technology makes it much easier to monitor and punish more people overall. Black, brown, and immigrant communities have become the biggest targets. Having fewer people behind bars, but giving authorities more power to punish communities of color is not a just solution to the problems of mass incarceration.

To help communities understand how e-carceration works and the consequences for Black, brown, and immigrant communities, CUP teamed up with Freedom to Thrive and designers Shreyas R Krishnan and Kruttika Susarla to create Not on our watch! The foldout poster explains and illustrates the concept of “e-carceration” and how it perpetuates a system of mass surveillance of communities of color. Available in English and Spanish, Not on our watch! also highlights community actions that have been taken across the country to offer alternatives to our current systems of incarceration and surveillance. 

Not on our watch! is being distributed across the country through Freedom to Thrive’s network of organizers and community members.

Resources & Links

Freedom to Thrive works to create a world where safety means investment in people & planet and to end the punishment-based criminal and immigration systems. 

Shreyas R Krishnan is an illustrator and designer from Chennai, India. Rooted in research, her non-fiction work takes on the forms of comics, editorial illustration, and documentary drawings. 

Kruttika Susarla is an illustrator-designer based out of New Delhi, India. Through her work she pays attention to how visual imagery can make or break sterotypes to form perceptions of what is culturally ‘normal’.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Christine Gaspar, Jade Jones, María Nóbrega, Jose Olivares, Yasmin Safdié, Leigh Taylor, Gileen Navarro, Pablo Medina Uribe, Willy Alverez, Carlos Casillas, Herbert Garica, Britany Lopez, Geraldine Monroy, Jorge Lucenzo Montero, Uchechukwu Onwa, Victor Orellona, Edwin Perez, Aneiry Zapata. 

And big thanks to the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project for their contributions to this project.

Participants

  • CUP
  • Siyona Ravi
  • Mark Torrey
    • Freedom to Thrive
    • Daniel Carillo
    • Basma Eid
    • Meron Tebeje
    • Designers 
    • Shreyas R Krishnan
    • Kruttika Susarla