California’s new prisons are sited on devalued rural land, most, in fact on formerly irrigated agricultural acres . . . The State bought land sold by big landowners. And the State assured the small, depressed towns now shadowed by prisons that the new, recession-proof, non-polluting industry would jump-start local redevelopment. 10 But, as Gilmore points out, neither the jobs nor the more general economic revitalization promised by prisons has occurred. At the same time, this promise of progress helps us to understand why the legislature and California’s voters decided to approve the construction of all these new prisons. People wanted to believe that prisons would not only reduce crime, they would also provide jobs and stimulate economic development in out-of-the-way places.