In this CCLJ Seminar, Dr. Wilson presented his criminological, photographic and historical research regarding the largest prison graveyard in the United States. The 169-year-old Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery located in Huntsville, Texas is home to over 4,000 prisoner burials. By intertwining individual stories, headstone designs, burial practices and patterns, and criminal justice policies Dr. Wilson unveiled the evolution of mass incarceration and punishment in the United States.
Franklin T. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Criminology at Indiana State University. Dr. Wilson’s research and publication interests are all focused on increasing the general public’s knowledge of key criminal justice issues. He approaches his research through a blending of criminological, historical, and communications research techniques. His research focuses on issues surrounding mass incarceration and punishment as well as the depiction of city police officers and police use of force in entertainment media and its impact on public perceptions. Dr. Wilson is currently researching and writing a book on the largest prison cemetery in the United States. He is published in leading social science journals and is the author of Crime and Media Studies: Diversity of Method, Medium, and Communication. His research has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Houston Chronicle, Texas Tribune and U.S. Catholic. Dr. Wilson serves as a Board of Directors member for CRIMCAST and the Center for Media and Celebrity Studies. He is a featured expert for the Crime & Justice Research Alliance and is a Huffington Post blogger.