James Kilgore is an educator, writer and activist based in Urbana, Illinois. He writes widely on issues of mass incarceration and the politics and history of southern Africa. He has written four novels, all of which he drafted during his six and a half years in prison.
He is also the author of a primer on the prison-industrial-complex: Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time. When he is not writing, he works in his community to fight against jail building and to open door of opportunity for people with felony convictions.