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Prison Abolition

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

About this Page

This page includes resources that focus on the prison industrial complex (PIC) and mass incarceration. The prison abolition movement distinguishes itself from prison reform in that it aims to eradicate the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration altogether. Prison abolition calls to pour more resources for education, food, housing, and jobs. Creating safe and healthy communities is the solution, not prison. Understanding the problem is key in order to solve it. Thus, grasping the history and existence of PIC and mass incarceration are key. Below you will find recommendations for films and videos to watch, as well as articles and books to read.

“The prison therefore functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers. This is the ideological work that the prison performs—it relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism." 

- Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

Books to Read