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Institutions

Building Carcerality

Architects and designers must reckon with their role in the past and future of mass incarceration.

Dana McKinney White & Lisa Haber-Thomson

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organizing

Letcher Is Us

A new prison won’t fix the many problems that afflict our community. Only a vision for, and investment in, a different future will.

Artie Ann Bates

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social control

A Narrative of Control

Mass incarceration rests on false narratives that carceral institutions themselves control. But some of us are fighting back.

Lyle C. May

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Surveillance

For the Public Good

While on parole in Oregon, homelessness, unemployment, and lack of services kept me in survival mode. This is not public safety.

Wesley Vaughan

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in conversation

Unlocking Learning

Education is integral to centering the holistic well-being of incarcerated people.

Mneesha Gellman & Daven McQueen

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first person

Hell Is Real and It Is Beige

Some of the greatest violence of prisons is hidden, in plain view, within their banality.

Vic Liu

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Beyond Reform

Disability Justice Demands Abolition

When people need care, then the solution should be to get them care, not increase the risk of police violence.

Katie Tastrom

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Policing

‘I’m Just Different, That’s All’

We embrace nonconformity in principle—but not for Black men, whose quirks can provoke fear, policing, and punishment.

Monica Bell

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voices

National Poetry Month: Wayne Grant

“The Names They Call Us”

Wayne Grant

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first person

The Banality of Mandatory Surcharges

In New York and elsewhere, exploitative court-ordered fees shouldn't saddle a person who is already poor and criminalized.

Eric Paris Whitfield

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abolition

For the People’s Health

Abolition and public health go hand in hand. Organizers are embracing both as they pursue decarceral projects that center everyone’s well-being.

Cristian Farias

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voices

National Poetry Month: Alexander Gallet

“Prisoner of Poetry”

Alexander Gallet

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Futures

Abolition as Human Liberation

A hopeful, practical new book shows how abolitionist organizers today are building the world anew.

Rachel Herzing, Justin Piché & Maya Schenwar

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Essay

Hip Hop Is My Life

I spit bars on Death Row to preserve the legacy of our people, what’s been done to us, and how we’ve fought back.

Alim Braxton

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voices

National Poetry Month: Brandon Callender

“Incarcerated Slavery” & “2 crack a smile”

Brandon Callender

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advocacy

Back to Appalachia

They were incarcerated in Eastern Kentucky, far from home. Now they’re free and back, hoping the region won’t build a new prison there.

Katie Myers

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voices

Ink from Honey

In the introduction to our National Poetry Month series, an incarcerated poet reflects on how writing is helping him reclaim the story of his life.

Amos Don

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voices

National Poetry Month: Amos Don

“Don Haitian Monument” & “The Hunters”

Amos Don

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first person

Closed Doors

Prison is no place for grief and closure. Yet even as I mourned, glimmers of love and life surrounded me.

Alexander Bolling

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In Depth

Sticking with the Sex

From sex work to sex offender registries, a queer politics requires that we end state practices of sex exceptionalism.

Joseph J. Fischel

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organizing

Building Community

For many years, Kentuckians have been fighting the construction of a federal prison. They’ve been winning, but their fight isn’t over.

Sylvia Ryerson

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excerpt

Dare to Report

The D.A.R.E. program turned students into snitches, leading to the arrest and incarceration of friends and loved ones who used drugs.

Max Felker-Kantor

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first person

Learning to Live

For incarcerated people, prison education programs can offer not only knowledge but also hope that a different future is possible.

Alexander X

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abolition

How We Rode the Storm

After Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement criminalized sex work and Black women like never before. We fought back—and won.

Laura McTighe & Women With A Vision

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Policing

The ‘Bad Guys’

Police academies socialize officers into an us-versus-them mentality—particularly when it comes to activists—and harden them to any attempts at reform.

Samantha J. Simon

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campaigns

Disrupting Carceral Narratives

There can be justice beyond punishment. To realize it, we must challenge the narrative that carceral violence is the only response to other forms of violence.

Charlene Allen & Cameron Rasmussen

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public history

Imprisoned by War

Racialized and violent, modern U.S. warmaking is inextricably linked with our history of mass incarceration.

Jason A. Higgins

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law & policy

When the Law Is a Trap

The Prison Rape Elimination Act often revictimizes incarcerated survivors by expanding the power of the prison over them.

E. Zimmerman

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A closer look

Graying in Prison

There's no aging with dignity for people serving extreme sentences. Freeing them is only a start to a deeper paradigm shift.

Wayne Pray

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activism

Gay Liberation and the Carceral State

Recovering a vision of queer solidarity with incarcerated people may just be what people disaffected by the gay rights movement need today.

Michael Bronski

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