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Prison Abolition

This guide explores what prison abolition is, an overview of the movement, and how to get involved.

Other Resources

The Marshall Project

Since 2014, The Marshall Project has been curating some of the best criminal justice reporting from around the web. In these records you will find the most recent and the most authoritative articles on the topics, people and events that are shaping the criminal justice conversation.


Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons is a podcast that explores incarceration from an abolitionist perspective. We amplify the voices of people directly impacted by the system and seek to tell stories that push us to imagine and work toward a world without prisons. Launched in 2017 by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein, Beyond Prisons is an educational and political resource for those new to abolition and those long engaged in movement work.



About This Guide

In this LibGuide, you will find various resources that provide an overview of the contemporary prison abolition movement in the United States, explore its important aspects from the movement's perspective, and discuss how it is distinguished from prison reform. As an engaged community member in New York Citywhether still a student, professional, worker, LGBTQIA+, migrant, immigrant, experienced activist, or just getting startedyou will get to know the foundations of prison abolition today, as rooted in abolishing the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration and analyzing through the lens of race, class, and gender. The guide includes works and media created by the movement's key players, what the movement's advocacy entails, and how you can get involved and connected with prison abolition organizations and its allies in New York.

"This movement was something so extraordinary, not only because it saved my life—and that was a major accomplishment—but also because it demonstrated that change was possible as a result of organized, mass pressure."

-  Angela Y. Davis, Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture

What is Prison Abolition?

Critical Resistance, What is Abolition?

Key Books on Prison Abolition

Leaders in the Movement Defining Prison Abolition

A Conversation Between Michelle Alexander & Angela Davis in NYC (10/20/17)

Angela Davis in conversation with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! (12/14/19)

Angela Davis in conversation with George Stroumboulopoulos from George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (02/16/11)

"The New Jim Crow" - Author Michelle Alexander, George E. Kent Lecture 2013

Understanding Prison Abolition Versus Prison Reform

Angela Davis on the Fallacy of Prison Reform