City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965. Lytle Hernandez, an associate professor at UCLA who wrote 2010’s Migra!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol, looks back on 200 years of history between Spanish colonialism and the Watts Rebellion in 1965 that made Los Angeles the largest jail system in the country; Lytle Hernandez argues that L.A. was actually the carceral capital of the U.S. as early as the 1950s. Using archival footage, photographs, maps and other evidence, the book explores how the city targeted various communities and minorities, including indigenous people, namely the Tongva-Gabrielino; poor white males; Chinese and Mexican immigrants; and African-Americans.
Kelly Lytle Hernandez discusses her new book,