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The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration, with more than 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails–that’s 716 out of every 100,000 citizens behind bars. In fact, as ArtsEmerson’s Artistic Director David Dower notes, most states, including Massachusetts “have a higher rate of incarceration than nearly every developed nation on the planet,” including countries that have experienced major social turbulences in the 20th century, like former Soviet Republics and South Africa…

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  “It lit a fire in me. I had no idea just how Draconian, and racially biased, and how people are profitting from people being behind bars. So I took this information back to my class and started incorporating it into the poetry as best as I could.” – Liza Jessie Peterson on first learning about the term ‘Prison Industrial Complex’   As a playwright, actor, activist, and educator, Liza Jessie Peterson’s ability to create performance…

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