Content note: State violence, racism, mass incarceration, police brutality, gender violence including rape and child abuse
In the days since sorority and fraternity students at Duke hosted a prison-themed mixer, many of us have been having important discussions on the crisis of mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. I thought I’d share some resources on prison abolition that I’ve found useful in shaping my own thinking
Towards Transformative Justice: A Liberatory Approach to Child Sexual Violence and other forms of Intimate and Community Violence by Black and Pink
Transformative Justice seeks to provide people who experience violence with immediate safety and long-term healing and reparations while holding people who commit violence accountable within and by their communities. This accountability includes stopping immediate abuse, making a commitment to not engage in future abuse, and offering reparations for past abuse. Such accountability requires community responsibility and access to on-going support and transformative healing for people who sexually abuse. “
Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis
At bottom, there is one fundamental question: Why do we take prison for granted? While a relatively small proportion of the population has ever directly experienced life inside prison, this is not true in poor black and Latino communi· ties. Neither is it true for Native Americans or for certain Asian-American communities. But even among those people who must regrettably accept prison sentences-especially young people-as an ordinary dimension of community life, it is hardly acceptable to engage in serious public discussions about prison life or radical alternatives to prison. It is as if prison were an inevitable fact of life, like birth and death.
Beautiful, Difficult, Powerful: Ending Sexual Assualt Through Transformative Justice Describes the Chrysalis Collective, a community organization that aims to end sexual assault through the use of survivor support and accountability teams.
Murder, Mass Incarceration, Militarization, and Genocide in Progress By Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends
How does one explain the totality of: mass incarceration of healthy young black males in their most productive years; their falling to state-sponsored murder coast-to-coast; the impoverishment of black wealth through wholesale thievery by corporate and banking foreclosures, and the militarization of police forces arrayed nationwide against black communities? Were these crimes against African-Americans committed in a theater of war they would rise to the level of genocide as defined by the United Nations.
For more readings and resources, check out the Black and Pink Prison Abolition Class
What do you think about restorative justice? Have you ever tried something like this in your community?