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Policy

‘Something on Women’

Carceral feminists clamored for the Violence Against Women Act. What they got in return was criminalization, incarceration, and more violence.

Leigh Goodmark

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In Depth

A Pound of Flesh

Fines and fees have a devastating effect on Black women and their communities. Abolishing them is the only option.

Alexes Harris, Natasha Hicks & Cortney Sanders

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excerpt

The Problem With Innocence

Human sacrifice, and nothing else, is the central problem that organizes the carceral geographies of the prison-industrial complex.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

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In Depth

Always a Mother

Maternal incarceration is but a phase for the people who experience it. It doesn’t define them.

Geniece Crawford Mondé

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In Depth

A Future for Susanville

The prison town of Susanville, in California, is about to lose its livelihood. Its economic survival presents a test for abolition.

Piper French

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A closer look

Cops and Counselors

Mental health professionals call the police, work with the police, and act like the police. But even in our ranks, an abolitionist future is possible.

Jessi Lee Jackson

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Institutions

A Veneer of Benevolence

For many years, I believed that the child welfare system could be reformed, but no more. It needs to be abolished.

Dorothy Roberts

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excerpt

Sexual Policing

Law enforcement of women’s bodies is a structural and systematic form of police violence. All of us are less safe if we don’t end this brutal expression of state-sanctioned power.

Anne Gray Fischer

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Big Data

Transgressing Borders

Racist gang profiling on the street becomes hard data, which then feeds a sprawling detention and deportation machine with the imprimatur of law.

Ana Muñiz

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public health

Unwell in a Cell

Co-opting the language of mental health and treatment, jail expansion is taking root in several cities and localities. But these are cages all the same.

Mon Mohapatra

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public health

Drug-Induced Panic

Criminalization of so-called drug-induced homicides is yet another manifestation of the failed war on drugs — and far from an adequate public health response.

Leo Beletsky, Emma Rock & Sunyou Kang

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A closer look

And a Public Defender for All

We can celebrate the ascent of Ketanji Brown Jackson, while acknowledging that indigent defense remains woefully inadequate in this time of crisis.

Sara Mayeux

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interventions

Making Headlines

The criminal legal system is massively punitive toward people who commit sex offenses. How we treat them jeopardizes their health and safety — and our own.

Glenn Christie & David Rangaviz

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Essay

The Poverty of Access

Librarians have a responsibility to everyone in their communities — including those who are incarcerated.

Jenny Rogers

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Crimmigration

No End in Sight

I finished my sentence more than seven years ago. But I’m still trapped in an immigration prison, where the punishment endures.

Angel Argueta

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In Depth

Train Up a Child

Many kids learn violent behaviors through intergenerational harm — and are then met with more harm by the state. Things don’t have to be this way.

Micere Keels

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public health

A World Without Roe

The loss of the fundamental right to reproductive freedom will only lead to more state surveillance and criminalization of pregnant people.

Purvaja Kavattur

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In Their Words

Finishing Sentences

Writing about prison from prison is a form of freedom-fighting. It is not without risks — and many rewards.

Caits Meissner

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In Depth

Captive Consumers

How government agencies and private companies trap and profit off incarcerated people and their loved ones.

Ariel Nelson & Stephen Raher

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Life Inside

Burn the Spot

Writing about people you encounter in prison carries special responsibilities.

Piper Kerman

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Race and the Law

Reclaiming Whren

How a committed critical race theorist on the bench might have written one of the worst Fourth Amendment cases in history.

Devon Carbado & Jonathan Feingold

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campaigns

150 Years Is Enough

The case for abolishing New Jersey’s youth prisons.

Andrea McChristian

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excerpt

Canaries in the Coalmine

We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are isolated.

Sonia Sotomayor

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Essay

Beyond Private Prisons

Simply targeting the corporations caging migrants and other people for profit won’t create a future without mass incarceration.

Silky Shah

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interventions

The End of Public Defenders

One path to ending mass incarceration is ending our modern conception of public defense. And being transparent about our work is one way to start.

Matthew Caldwell

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A closer look

No Compassion

Judge Michelle Childs’ many denials of compassionate release signal a carceralism that should have no place on the Supreme Court.

Matthew Ahn

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campaigns

A New Sheriff in Town

New Orleans’ newest jailer won’t get us out of our crisis of mass incarceration. But her election still matters as we build a safer, healthier community.

Sade Dumas

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In Depth

Atonement

The American penal system renders invisible the many people in its grip who are working hard to make amends.

Steve Herbert

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interventions

Mass Disenfranchisement

The scourge of plea bargaining is robbing millions of a different, and just as fundamental, kind of liberty.

Somil Trivedi & Julie Ebenstein

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Life Inside

The Ties That Bind

Imprisonment violently separates us from those we love most. Even those we come to love on the inside.

William Peeples

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