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Mass Incarceration



  • What Set the Stage for Rebellion and Violence at Attica

    Tyrone Larkins, Alhajji Sharif and Akil Shaquan were incarcerated at Attica 50 years ago. Hear their story about conditions in the prison and the events of the riot and its brutal suppression. Also features an interview with historian Heather Ann Thompson.



  • Honoring Attica After Half a Century

    by Heather Ann Thompson

    Activists both inside and outside of prisons in the 1960s and 1970s confronted the violence of the state. Accountability for law enforcement is still an unrealized legacy of the 1971 Attica rebellion. 



  • The Emerging Movement for Police and Prison Abolition

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Organizer Mariame Kaba is one of the leading public intellectuals behind the movement for the abolition of the institutions of policing and prisons and for a politics that imagines more humane alternatives. 



  • "Abolition Is...": A Roundtable

    Several young scholar/activists reflect on how historical analysis can inform the contemporary prison abolition movement and alternative approaches to justice. 



  • Abolition is Not Complete

    by Eric Foner

    The exception included in the 13th Amendment allowing involuntary labor on conviction of a crime was a holdover from prior laws; its authors certainly never intended to enable a system of prison labor, and the amendment should be amended. 



  • I Don't Have to Forgive Joe Biden

    by Christopher Lebron

    "I choose to believe he is ready to be transformed by the times, his peers, and the mandate given to him in defeating good ol’ white supremacy. I can accept Biden for the purpose of dealing with him for the moment."



  • “Nothing Stirred in the Air”

    by Stephen Dillon

    The architecture of the "supermax" prison targets the senses and emotions of the incarcerated as a means of control in the wake of political organizing inside and outside of prisons in the 1960s and 1970s. 



  • How Mass Incarceration Has Shaped History

    Political forces pushing for mass incarceration have been closely connected to those restricting the power of labor and pressing to keep wages low.