The SIF program leads an Atlanta-based collaboration between ATLmaps and Common Good Atlanta (a college-in-prison education program) inspired by the following inquiry: what kinds of stories can maps tell about the experiences of (post-)incarceration? From geographies of inequality fueling the prison industrial complex to the manipulation of space to confine, exclude, and discipline, mass-incarceration is a deeply spatial practice. Mapping has played a central role in establishing the boundaries that, when crossed by particular people or actions, are used to justify incarceration and injustice. Community-led projects reveal how critical approaches to mapping can be used to counter dominant narratives about mass-incarceration. This collaboration seeks to: 1) expose transcarceral practices; 2) educate others about the situated experiences of incarceration; and 3) engage seemingly disparate communities that shape and are connected through transcarceral experience.

Leveraging the ATLmaps platform, SIF students work with returning citizens to build transferrable, computer- and software-based skills and create maps of the Atlanta area that show current re-entry service providers, transportation options, updated neighborhood statistics, and even personal narrative/experiential maps of the Atlanta metro region. Returning citizens are also creating a sound map of Atlanta by reading key passages from classic literature in unusual, often provocative places, such as the opening passage of Moby-Dick in the Majestic Diner and Shylock’s monologue in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice on top of Stone Mountain.

PROJECT Team


Ashley Cheyemi McNeil

Multi-Ethnic Literature

Steven Shields

Religious Studies