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Renewing New Orleans

Anti-jail organizers scored important wins in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But their fight isn’t over.

Lydia Pelot-Hobbs

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public history

The Promise of Marronage

Stories of Black flight from enslavement continue to offer lessons for radically rethinking public safety beyond policing.

Celeste Winston

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A Defense of Public Defender Funding

Unless Congress acts, funding for federal public defenders will take a serious hit, with disastrous consequences for the people they represent.

Judith Miller

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Yearning to Go Home

Life-without-parole sentences hit families especially hard. Yet they fight on, committed to their loved ones’ freedom.

Kunlyna Tauch & Abigail Higgins

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In Depth

How We Ended Wealth-Based Jailing

In Illinois, ending money bond was our target. Pretrial freedom is our goal.

Matthew McLoughlin

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Books as Decarceral

By helping non-incarcerated people to experience a human connection with people inside, volunteering can open a curtain in the mind.

Kelly Brotzman

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public history

The Long Revolt

Attica represents far more than a historic rebellion about prison reform. Its revolutionary abolitionist vision endures today.

Orisanmi Burton

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On Resilience

In the criminal system, having your life constrained and restricted, even after your sentence is over, has become a fact of life.

Jeff Noland

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Fractal Abolition

The work of tearing down structures of harm while building the world we want can and must start small.

Andrea J. Ritchie

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first person

Censoring Women’s Health

In prison, even learning about your own reproductive health is met with repression.

Kwaneta Harris

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first person

Misadventures in Mail Censorship

An incarcerated writer’s grievances against a sad new normal of censorship and mail obstruction in a Pennsylvania prison.

K. Robert Schaeffer

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The Surreal Prison Censorship Regime

Society isn’t being done any favors keeping literature out of the hands of incarcerated people.

Dylan Jeffrey

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Ending Carceral Censorship

Censorship should not be the mechanism by which prisons ensure security or any other goal they purport to have.

Moira Marquis

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A Place to Be Free

Life in prison is hard. Transitioning back home through reentry shouldn’t be harder.

Richard Cruz, Anthony Ammons & David Carranza

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Deconstructing Immigrant Binaries

To truly provide justice for those with criminal records, we must question harmful binaries that separate “good” from “bad” immigrants.

Sarah Tosh

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Surveil and Conquer

The state spies upon and infiltrates social movements to keep people on guard, afraid, and second-guessing their every move.

Chris Robé

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In Defense of Hopelessness

Even among abolitionists, there's room for those who lack hope.

Charles Snyder

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collective action

Imprisoned but United

How the peaceful takeover of Walpole prison in 1973 holds lessons for abolitionists today.

Thomas Dichter

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book review

The Gun of Incarceration

Probation and parole in the United States don’t work. A longtime reformer and advocate has drawn a blueprint to end them.

Cristian Farias

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law & policy

Exceptional Punishments

No one should be made to give up their rights in exchange for being spared from prison.

Kate Weisburd

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A closer look

Our Evidence-Based Obsession

Better research won’t get us out of our crisis of mass incarceration.

Jonathan Ben Menachem

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first person

Envisioning Futures

The art of knowing what we’re confronting and revealing who is being made invisible by the carceral state.

Maria Gaspar & Gina Dent

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Chained by Debt

Erasing court costs and fines is a relatively small change that would have an outsize impact on those harmed by mass incarceration.

Shivani Nishar & Sarah Martino

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Do You Know Their Names?

When slain by police, Black women and girls rarely garner the same communal outcry or political response as their fallen Black brothers.

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw

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Abolition Everywhere

Despite the stumbling blocks imposed by Republican state governments, abolition is happening in the South and in small towns, with organizing specially tailored to local needs.

Meghan Krausch

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public health

Beware the Healthier Cage

In Atlanta politicians are pushing for a bigger jail they claim will be more humane. But health-care workers are pushing back.

Mark Spencer

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The Women at the Prison Gates

There are many forms of resistance undertaken by relatives and friends of incarcerated people, but the system renders them invisible.

Gwenola Ricordeau

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Our End-of-Summer Reading List

Decarceral ideas and essays that have moved our readers in the past year.

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Keeping Each Other Safe

Acting within the criminal legal system cannot be the solution, on its own, to the existence of the carceral state.

Jocelyn Simonson

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From Reformism to Revolution

As organizers in Illinois know well, it is necessary to engage with criminalizing institutions to better learn how to defeat them.

Sharlyn Grace

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