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Prisons Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Aerial view of Rikers Island

Making Sense of the Fight over New York City Jails

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Gabriel Sayegh, Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice — The fight to close Rikers is reaching a boiling point again. Next week, the New York City Council will vote on the land-use proposal for the construction of replacement jail facilities in the boroughs. The proposal is a major component of the City’s contentious plan to close Rikers, and the entire process has generated controversy within the movement to…

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Prisons

American Gulag: Our Prisons Get More Oppressive by the Day

By Editors' Choice

By John W. Whitehead, CounterPunch — “The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can ‘pay their debt to society,’ make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself. The rulers of ancient Rome and Greece sent their dissidents off to distant colonies. Socrates chose death over the torment of exile from Athens. The poet…

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Customs and Border Protection

A Brief History of US Concentration Camps

By Editors' Choice

There is no doubt that concentration camps are in operation on US soil once again. By Brett Wilkins — Concentration camp (noun): a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. – Oxford English Dictionary Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has ignited a…

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Ending Mass Incarceration: Ideas from Today's Leaders

Ending Mass Incarceration: Ideas from Today’s Leaders

By Editors' Choice

By Inimai M. Chettiar, Priya Raghavan, Michael Waldman, Adureh Onyekwere — The American public has decisively concluded that our approach to criminal justice isn’t working. Mass incarceration is the civil rights crisis of our time. The racial disparities pervasive in our justice system compound at every juncture: African Americans are more likely to be stopped by police, arrested, detained before trial, and given harsher sentences than whites. Worse, the disparities in…

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Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind

By Editors' Choice

In three decades of advocating for prison abolition, the activist and scholar has helped transform how people think about criminal justice. By Rachel Kushner, New York Times — There’s an anecdote that Ruth Wilson Gilmore likes to share about being at an environmental-justice conference in Fresno in 2003. People from all over California’s Central Valley had gathered to talk about the serious environmental hazards their communities faced, mostly as a…

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The text was approved by 535 MEPs in a vote at the European parliament on Tuesday.

MEPs pass ‘watershed’ resolution calling for action against racism

By News & Current Affairs

Text calls on member states to tackle discrimination against people of African descent. By Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian — The European parliament has called for action to tackle the “structural racism” facing millions of Europeans of African descent in an unprecedented resolution that was overwhelmingly approved by MEPs. The resolution calls on European Union member states to develop national anti-racism strategies to deal with discrimination in education, health, housing, policing, the justice…

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Albert Woodfox was released from prison in 2016 after more than four decades.

After 40 years in solitary, activist Albert Woodfox tells his story of survival

By Editors' Choice

The former Black Panther and member of the Angola 3 reflects on how he turned his cell from a place of confinement to a space for personal growth. By Albert Woodfox, The Guardian — My wrists were handcuffed to my waist by a leather strap. These restraints would become standard for me for decades to come. They walked me to a car and I got in. A captain next to…

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Nov 19th Edition of Vantage Point Radio: Can the Working Families Party Be the Third Force in American Politics?

By Vantage Point Radio, Video/Audio

Topics: Protecting the Financial Health of New York Consumers • “The Adultrification of Black Youth in the Criminal Justice System” • Can the Working Families Party Become the Third Force in American Politics. Guests: Lorelei Salas (New York Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, New York, NY) and Jeree Thomas (Policy Director, The Campaign for Youth Justice, Washington, D.C.)

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From Black Women’s Blueprint on Twitter.

Hundreds Gather for the March for Black Women in D.C.

By News & Current Affairs

“We Are Marching To Say That Black Women’s Lives Matter…” By Taryn Finley, Huff Post — Black activist groups marched on the National Mall and Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to raise awareness about the injustices black women face. Black Women’s Blueprint, BYP100 and Trans Sistas of Color Project and other groups have united for the March for Black Women. The event’s co-chairs are activists Farah Tanis, Bré…

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The Slaves Rebel - image by Mr. Fish, Truthdig

The Slaves Rebel

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig — The only way to end slavery is to stop being a slave. Hundreds of men and women in prisons in some 17 states are refusing to carry out prison labor, conducting hunger strikes or boycotting for-profit commissaries in an effort to abolish the last redoubt of legalized slavery in America. The strikers are demanding to be paid the minimum wage, the right to vote, decent…

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