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Culture & Politics

HOW OUR CULTURE AND OUR POLITICS FUEL MASS INCARCERATION

46 posts in ‘Culture & Politics’

Media

Justice and Journalism

How we're helping journalists report more deeply, more precisely, and more carefully on the law, on the criminal system, and towards justice.

Cherri Gregg & Sam Fulwood III

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excerpt

A Point of No Return

Understanding the past of the Cook County Jail is understanding its present.

Melanie Newport

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Photo Essay

Archives of Resistance

The movement to end police violence has a rich visual history. In Brooklyn, a collective of volunteers is doing its part to preserve it.

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Reflections

Reshaping Our Wanting

There is a place for desire in an abolitionist world, at least when desire is pleasure and love and freedom.

El Jones

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In Depth

To Free Them All

The carceral system criminalizes and retraumatizes survivors at every step. Dismantling these structures is the only way to end this violence.

Leigh Goodmark

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Reflections

Goodnight Jail

Based on 'Goodnight Moon', the 1947 bedtime classic by Margaret Wise Brown.

El Jones

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excerpt

Repression and Backlash

The tangle of policy responses following the 2020 uprisings over police violence shows that both Republicans and Democrats failed to meet the moment.

Elizabeth Hinton

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campaigns

Meeting the Moment

As a lifelong public defender, I ran to become Santa Clara County’s next district attorney. I didn’t win, but our movement did.

Sajid Khan

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democracy & power

Culture Wars and Criminalization

Absent a sustained politics of solidarity, culture wars will continue to erode civil rights while criminalizing, surveilling, and punishing those who claim them

Kay Whitlock

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Policy

Decarcerating from Within

Here's how imprisoned writers can offer reasoned analysis on policies affecting the carceral state.

Tomas Keen & Atif Rafay

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In Depth

Hidden Transcripts

The Reagan administration’s entrenchment of a retaliatory immigration detention regime sowed seeds of resistance that persist to this day.

Kristina Shull

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interventions

Nullifying Dobbs

Jurors’ conscientious refusal to convict people charged for violating abortion bans is perfectly legal — and what justice demands.

Peter N. Salib & Guha Krishnamurthi

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In Depth

Federal Time

Congress' rush to respond to recent mass shootings will criminalize Black and Brown communities the hardest, repeating historic mistakes that contributed to mass incarceration.

Kyana Givens, Michael Carter & Laura Ginsberg Abelson

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Reflections

Juneteenth and Black Liberation

Our government's history of oppression compels us to free those Black revolutionaries aging in our prisons.

Nebil Husayn

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Policing

Shattering Broken Windows

For decades, policing so-called ‘quality of life’ issues has had devastating effects. This approach must cease to exist.

Katherine Beckett

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democracy & power

Changing Everything

Beyond electing progressive prosecutors, decarceration requires an ambitious, multifaceted struggle at all levels of governance.

Dan Berger

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democracy & power

After the Backlash

Understanding the democratic appeal of retrenchment and reaction to movements for racial justice has never been more urgent.

Aziz Huq

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Beyond Reform

Rethinking the State

For criminal law to become truly unexceptional, we must rethink our society, and its legal structures, as a whole.

Benjamin Levin

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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

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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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

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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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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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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Institutions

No More Compromisers

The Supreme Court doesn’t need another Stephen Breyer. It needs someone who can openly confront the immorality of our criminal legal system.

Cristian Farias

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Local jails

The Sheriff and His Jail

Jails are key drivers of COVID spread. My experience with Chicago’s top jailer shows how politics can often stand in the way of public health.

Eric Reinhart

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