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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

With focus on New York, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, this page highlights prison abolitionists' analysis of the vulnerability of prisons to COVID-19 outbreaks and its impact, what their calls and demand are to decarcerate, and action steps that can be taken to heed their calls. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited an emergency for incarcerated people in prisons in the United States and around the globe. Prison abolitionists have resounded to amplify the call to free all incarcerated people, especially the most vulnerable, asserting that the humane treatment and health of incarcerated people is part and parcel of pubic health across the board to fight COVID-19.

Need for Decarceration: Vulnerability of Prisons to COVID-19 Outbreaks

"'Leaving Us Here to Die': Prisoners Plea for Release, Protection Amid Skyrocketing Infections."

Democracy Now!, April 6, 2020.


Ruth Wilson Gilmore discusses COVID-19, Decarceration, and Abolition. Haymarket Books, April 17, 2020.

Demands and Calls to Action to Release Incarcerated People in New York state during the Pandemic