Prisons are an invisible, but dominant, part of American society:
the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in
the world. In Michigan, the number of prisoners rose from 3,000 in
1970 to more than 50,000 by 2008, a shift that Buzz Alexander
witnessed firsthand when he came to teach at the University of
Is William Martinez Not Our Brother? describes the University of
Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), a pioneering
program founded in 1990 that provides university courses, a
nonprofit organization, and a national network for incarcerated
youth and adults in Michigan juvenile facilities and prisons.
By giving incarcerated individuals an opportunity to participate in
the arts, PCAP enables them to withstand and often overcome the
conditions and culture of prison, the policies of an incarcerating
state, and the consequences of mass incarceration.