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Transformative Justice and Prison Abolition

Now is the time to #DefundthePolice and abolish prisons to create the more just and more loving feminist world we deserve. 

As a result of the uprisings happening around the country, the decades long strategic organizing of Black feminist movement builders and theorists, and the clear articulation of a platform of demands by The Movement for Black Lives, we are living through a historic moment of possibility around reimagining safety and justice in this country. We believe that defunding the police and abolishing prisons is not only possible, it is a necessary step towards creating a feminist vision of health, safety, and security for all people in this country, but especially for Black people who are overwhelmingly the victims of police and prison violence. Many people have not yet had the opportunity or the cause to think about alternatives to police or prisons and so this concept may sound outlandish or terrifying. This list of resources and books is not only about divestment (pulling resources away from policing and prisons) but also investment (redirecting the majority of the massive police, prison, and military budgets at every level of this country to proven alternatives that increase safety--including better physical and mental healthcare, equitable free education, sexual abuse and sexual violence education and prevention, housing programs that help people stay in their homes and aquire safe housing, drug and alcohol programs that support the wellness of individuals instead of criminalizing behavior, reproductive care for people across the spectrum of their lives and their choices about building families--just to name a few). 

Some people fear that divesting from police and prisons will make people more likely to be victims of crime or will make those who have already experienced harm even more vulnerable. One way to begin exploring alternatives to police and prisons is to consider the concept of Transformative Justice, which encourages a process where all the stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice and to decide what should be done to repair the harm. Transformative Justice also considers the individual in relation to societal factors that influence behavior and seeks pathways for resolution that also make society as a whole more just. To be clear, this is a long term shift of values, funding, and priorities in which new systems must be built to create containers of safety and accountability for harm. One of the ways we can begin to create the world that we want to inhabit is to open our minds and hearts to what actual justice might look like and feel like outside a retributive or "eye for an eye" model. 

Suggested Reading Online:

If you have not yet read The Movement for Black Lives full policy platform we encourage you to do so, but especially the platform on police and prisons so you can better understand the demands we are fighting for. 

We love this well sourced and researched article from lesbian/queer magazine, Autostraddle, it's a great explainer and introduction to these concepts: Police and Prison Abolition 101: A Syllabus and FAQ

If you would like to work locally to defund prisons and the police consider the following actions:

Go to and use the template to draft a letter before June 15, 2020 asking for funds to be redirected from APD in the 2021 budget and allocated to other more pro-human budget items.

Support Women on the Rise's work to hold the Atlanta City Council's feet to the fire to defund the Atlanta City Jail and turn it into a positive space for the city. 

Suggested actions in your personal sphere:

Talk to friends about not calling the police. (Need more ideas about what this could look like? Read this and this.)

Encourage your school, church, gym, or other institution to cancel its contract with the police or private security.

Get rid of your Ring doorbell camera or other devices that are frequently used to profile Black people. Here's the ACLU's position on this.

Delete your "Next Door" account or commit to actively interrupting every instance of profiling you see on your neighborhood list. If you aren't interrupting you are condoning. Here's more info about NextDoor's long game.

Delete your Amazon account (yeah yeah this is self-serving because Amazon is our #1 nemesis for many reasons but you should know what your money supports.) How Amazon's Ring works with Police. Amazon is the backbone of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which is still caging children and adults at the U.S. border.

We encourage you to explore this list of books. On this list you will find books about the history of policing--its roots in slavery--and why it is an inherently anti-Black institution that cannot be reformed. You will find feminist critiques of the police and prison systems. You will find first person accounts by Black activists on the harms of policing and prisons and the necessity of abolition. Finally, you will find a wealth of books on the roots of Transformative Justice--ideas that come from many places including Black Feminist theory, Reproductive Justice, the Christian Left, Disability Justice Movements, and Queer Kin and Accountability Networks. As feminists we believe it is not simply our duty to tear things down, it is primarily our duty to imagine a more beautiful, healthy, and life-affirming future for all people. We hope you will consider these resources and begin thinking about actions, large and small, that you can take to divest from police and prisons in your life. 

Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849353625
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Published: AK Press - January 21st, 2020

Transformative justice seeks to solve the problem of violence at the grassroots level, without relying on punishment, incarceration, or policing. Community-based approaches to preventing crime and repairing its damage have existed for centuries. However, in the punative atmosphere of contemporary criminal justice systems, they are often marginalized and operate under the radar.

Are Prisons Obsolete? (Open Media Series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781583225813
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Published: Seven Stories Press - August 5th, 2003

With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable.

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color Cover Image
By Andrea Ritchie, Angela Y. Davis (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780807088982
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Published: Beacon Press - August 1st, 2017

“A passionate, incisive critique of the many ways in which women and girls of color are systematically erased or marginalized in discussions of police violence.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

The End of Policing Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781784782924
Published: Verso - August 28th, 2018


Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780814776230
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Published: New York University Press - May 22nd, 2012

Illuminates the threats of Black women face and the lack of substantive public policy towards gendered violence

Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781517904432
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - May 19th, 2020

This vital addition to carceral, prison, and disability studies draws important new links between deinstitutionalization and decarceration


Prison abolition and decarceration are increasingly debated, but it is often without taking into account the largest exodus of people from carceral facilities in the twentieth century: the closure of disability institutions an

Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525436614
Published: Vintage - May 15th, 2018

A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars.

Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939202321
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Published: Project Nia - June 18th, 2019

Fumbling Towards Repair is a workbook by Mariame Kaba and Shira Hassan that includes reflection questions, skill assessments, facilitation tips, helpful definitions, activities, and hard-learned lessons intended to support people who have taken on the coordination and facilitation of formal community accountability processes to address interpersonal harm & violence.

The Feminist and the Sex Offender: Confronting Sexual Harm, Ending State Violence Cover Image
ISBN: 9781788733403
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Published: Verso - April 23rd, 2020

In the era of #MeToo and mass incarceration, The Feminist and the Sex Offender makes a powerful feminist case for accountability without punishment and sexual safety and pleasure without injustice.

Love with Accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse Cover Image
By Aishah Shahidah Simmons (Editor), Darnell L. Moore (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781849353526
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Published: AK Press - October 1st, 2019

2020 Lambda Literary Award winner for best LGBTQ anthology

Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620973103
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Published: New Press - July 21st, 2020

A crucial indictment of widely embraced alternatives to incarceration that exposes how many of these new approaches actually widen the net of punishment and surveillance

But what does it mean--really--to celebrate reforms that convert your home into your prison?
--Michelle Alexander, from the foreword

From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608465620
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Published: Haymarket Books - February 23rd, 2016

Winner of the 2016 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize for an Especially Notable Book

"Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's searching examination of the social, political and economic dimensions of the prevailing racial order offers important context for understanding the necessity of the emerging movement for black liberation."
--Michelle Alexander

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement Cover Image
By Angela Y. Davis, Frank Barat (Editor), Cornel West (Preface by)
ISBN: 9781608465644
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Published: Haymarket Books - February 9th, 2016

In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

If They Come in the Morning...: Voices of Resistance (Radical Thinkers) Cover Image
By Angela Y. Davis (Editor)
ISBN: 9781784787691
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Published: Verso - November 8th, 2016

With race and policing once more burning issues, this classic work from one of America’s giants of black radicalism has lost none of its prescience or power

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812984965
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Published: One World - August 18th, 2015

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation, Theory, Practice, Critique Cover Image
By Loretta Ross (Editor), Erika Derkas (Editor), Whitney Peoples (Editor)
ISBN: 9781558614376
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Published: Feminist Press - November 14th, 2017

"An essential read for anyone who cares about justice and political activism." --Rye Young, Executive Director, Third Wave Fund

Death Blossoms: Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience, Expanded Edition (City Lights Open Media) Cover Image
By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Cornel West (Foreword by), Julia Wright (Preface by)
ISBN: 9780872867970
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Published: City Lights Books - December 17th, 2019

Profound meditations on life, death, freedom, family, and faith, written by radical Black journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, while he was awaiting his execution.

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781551527383
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Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - October 30th, 2018

In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all.

Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century (American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present #6) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520292710
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Published: University of California Press - August 28th, 2018

"A powerful — and personal — account of the movement and its players."—The Washington Post

“This perceptive resource on radical black liberation movements in the 21st century can inform anyone wanting to better understand . . .

Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9780814777152
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Published: New York University Press - December 4th, 2018

Explores accountability as a framework for building movements to transform systemic oppression and violence

The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women's Liberation in Mass Incarceration Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520304512
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Published: University of California Press - May 26th, 2020

Many feminists grapple with the problem of hyper-incarceration in the United States, and yet commentators on gender crime continue to assert that criminal law is not tough enough. This punitive impulse, prominent legal scholar Aya Gruber argues, is dangerous and counterproductive.

Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399590030
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 5th, 2020

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out.

No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781568589466
Published: Bold Type Books - April 14th, 2020

This provocative account of our immigration system's long, racist history reveals how it has become the brutal machine that upends the lives of millions of immigrants today.

Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465093793
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Published: Basic Books - December 31st, 2018

A revelatory account of the misdemeanor machine that unjustly brands millions of Americans as criminals.

Punishment Without Crime offers an urgent new interpretation of inequality and injustice in America by examining the paradigmatic American offense: the lowly misdemeanor.

We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities Cover Image
By Zach Norris, Van Jones (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9780807029701
Published: Beacon Press - February 4th, 2020

A groundbreaking new vision for public safety that overturns more than 200 years of fear-based discrimination, othering, and punishment

Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620974797
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Published: New Press - March 5th, 2019

The award-winning "radically original" (The Atlantic) restorative justice leader, whose work the Washington Post has called "totally sensible and totally revolutionary," grapples with the problem of violent crime in the movement for prison abolition

A National Book Foundation Literature for Justice honoree

Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620975275
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Published: New Press - October 29th, 2019

From an award-winning civil rights lawyer, a profound challenge to our society's normalization of the caging of human beings, and the role of the legal profession in perpetuating it

Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691196114
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Published: Princeton University Press - August 27th, 2019

An eye-opening account of the criminal justice system's often overlooked creaky gears.--Sam Roberts, New York Times

Turn This World Inside Out: The Emergence of Nurturance Culture Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849353588
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Published: AK Press - June 18th, 2019

As Nora Samaran writes, "violence is nurturance turned backwards." In its place, she proposes "nurturance culture" as the opposite of rape culture, suggesting that models of care and accountability--different from "call-outs" rooted in the politics of guilt--can move toward dismantling systems of dominance and oppression.

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735223608
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Published: Penguin Books - June 11th, 2019

An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” —

The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780807071861
Published: Beacon Press - March 26th, 2019

A narrative-driven exploration of policing and the punishment of disadvantage in Chicago, and a new vision for repairing urban neighborhoods

How Nonviolence Protects the State Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948501019
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Published: Detritus Books - August 21st, 2018

Since the civil rights era, the doctrine of nonviolence has enjoyed near-universal acceptance by the US Left. Today protest is often shaped by cooperation with state authorities--even organizers of rallies against police brutality apply for police permits, and anti-imperialists usually stop short of supporting self-defense and armed resistance.

Carceral Capitalism (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series #21) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635900026
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Published: Semiotext(e) - February 23rd, 2018

Essays on the contemporary continuum of incarceration: the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, and algorithmic policing.

What we see happening in Ferguson and other cities around the country is not the creation of livable spaces, but the creation of living hells.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620971932
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Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly' Slate' Chronicle of Higher Education' Literary Hub, Book Riot' and Zora

Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement Cover Image
By Jean Casella (Editor), James Ridgeway (Editor), Sarah Shourd (Editor)
ISBN: 9781620973516
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Published: New Press - September 5th, 2017

NOW IN PAPERBACK The elegant but harrowing (San Francisco Chronicle) collection of writing from solitary confinement that lifts the veil on this widespread modern-day form of torture

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? (City Lights Open Media) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872867383
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Published: City Lights Books - July 4th, 2017

A must-read for anyone interested in social justice and inequalities, social movements, the criminal justice system, and African American history. An excellent companion to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th.--Library Journal, Starred review

A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807063484
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Published: Beacon Press - February 12th, 2019

Praised by The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Bitch Magazine; Slate; Publishers Weekly; and more, this is “a bracing corrective to a national mythology” (New York Times) around the civil rights movement.

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849352628
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Published: AK Press - August 30th, 2016

The Revolution Starts at Home is as urgently needed today as when it was first published. This watershed collection breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the "secret" of intimate violence within social justice circles. Just as importantly, it provides practical strategies for dealing with abuse and creating safety without relying on the coercive power of the state.

Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter Cover Image
By Jordan T. Camp (Editor), Christina Heatherton (Editor)
ISBN: 9781784783167
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Published: Verso - May 24th, 2016

How policing became the major political issue of our time

Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849351744
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Published: AK Press - February 9th, 2016

There was a time I believed prisons existed to rehabilitate people, to make our communities safer. . . . When I saw for the first time (but not the last) a mother sobbing and clutching her son when visiting hours were up, only to be physically pried off and escorted out by guards, I knew nothing about that made me safer. This is the heart of this country's prison system.

Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, Second Edition Cover Image
By Eric A. Stanley (Editor), Nat Smith (Editor), Cece McDonald (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781849352345
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Published: AK Press - October 27th, 2015

Pathologized, terrorized, and confined, trans/gender non-conforming and queer folks have always struggled against the prison industrial complex. Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith bring together current and former prisoners, activists, and academics for a new understanding of how race, gender, ability, and sexuality are lived under the crushing weight of captivity.

Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849352154
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Published: AK Press - August 18th, 2015

Let's begin with the basics: violence is an inherent part of policing. The police represent the most direct means by which the state imposes its will on the citizenry. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.

The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780300227116
Published: Yale University Press - February 21st, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Frederick Douglass Prize

A groundbreaking history of abolition that recovers the largely forgotten role of African Americans in the long march toward emancipation from the American Revolution through the Civil War

Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conserva

Abolition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780521600859
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Published: Cambridge University Press - August 10th, 2009

In one form or another, slavery has existed throughout the world for millennia. It helped to change the world, and the world transformed the institution.

Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons Cover Image
ISBN: 9780190949150
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Published: Oxford University Press, USA - December 11th, 2019

Changes in the American religious landscape enabled the rise of mass incarceration. Religious ideas and practices also offer a key for ending mass incarceration. These are the bold claims advanced by Break Every Yoke, the joint work of two activist-scholars of American religion. Once, in an

God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Prison Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780807041550
Published: Beacon Press - March 6th, 2018

An eye-opening account of how and why evangelical Christian ministries are flourishing in prisons across the United States

Assata: An Autobiography Cover Image
By Assata Shakur, Angela Davis (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781556520747
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Published: Lawrence Hill Books - November 1st, 1999

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J.

Revolutionary Suicide: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Huey P. Newton, Fredrika Newton (Introduction by), Ho Che Anderson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780143105329
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Published: Penguin Classics - September 29th, 2009

The searing, visionary memoir of founding Black Panther Huey P. Newton, in a dazzling graphic package

Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520293281
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Published: University of California Press - October 25th, 2016

This timely special edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, features a new preface by the authors that places the Party in a contemporary political landscape, especially as it relates to Black Lives Matter and other struggles to fight police brutality against black communities.
In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college

Big Black: Stand at Attica Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684154791
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Published: Archaia - February 18th, 2020

A graphic novel memoir from Frank “Big Black” Smith, a prisoner at Attica State Prison in 1971, whose rebellion against the injustices of the prison system remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history.


Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture (Open Media Series) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781583226957
Published: Seven Stories Press - October 4th, 2005

Revelations about U.S policies and practices of torture and abuse have captured headlines ever since the breaking of the Abu Ghraib prison story in April 2004. Since then, a debate has raged regarding what is and what is not acceptable behavior for the world’s leading democracy.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631494536
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Published: Liveright - May 1st, 2018

New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction

Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385722704
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Published: Anchor - January 13th, 2009

This groundbreaking historical expose unearths the lost stories of enslaved persons and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter in “The Age of Neoslavery.”

We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807028346
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Published: Beacon Press - February 4th, 2020

Winner of the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

For the first time, the four most popular restorative justice books in the Justice & Peacebuilding series—The Little Book of Restorative Justice: Revised and Updated, The Little Book of Victim Offender Conferencing, The Little Book of Family Group Conferences, and The Little Book of Circle Processes—are available in one affordable volume.


Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling Cover Image
ISBN: 9781595585417
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Published: New Press - April 2nd, 2013

Do not underestimate the power of the book you are holding in your hands.
--Michelle Alexander

The Real Cost of Prisons Comix (PM Press) Cover Image
By Lois Ahrens (Editor), Craig Gilmore (Preface by)
ISBN: 9781604860344
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Published: PM Press - September 1st, 2008

One out of every hundred adults in the U.S. is in prison. This book provides a crash course in what drives mass incarceration, the human and community costs, and how to stop the numbers from going even higher. This volume collects the three comic books published by the Real Cost of Prisons Project. The stories and statistical information in each comic book is thoroughly researched and documented.

All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence (Women, Gender, and Sexuality in American History) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780252084126
Published: University of Illinois Press - March 2nd, 2019

During the 1970s, grassroots women activists in and outside of prisons forged a radical politics against gender violence and incarceration. Emily L.

Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power across Neoliberal America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781517906887
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Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - March 26th, 2019

From broken-window policing in Detroit to prison-building in Appalachia, exploring the expansion of the carceral state and its oppressive social relations into everyday life

Prison Land offers a geographic excavation of the prison as a set of social relations—including property, work, gender, and race—enacted across various landscapes of American life.

Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (Nation of Nations #7) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780814723760
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Published: New York University Press - November 12th, 2012

Winner of the 2013 John Hope Franklin Book Prize presented by the American Studies Association

A necessary read that demonstrates the ways in which certain people are devalued without attention to social contexts

Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores Cover Image
ISBN: 9780830845293
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Published: IVP Books - February 6th, 2018

IVP Readers' Choice Award
Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year

Policing the Womb Cover Image
ISBN: 9781107030176
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Published: Cambridge University Press - March 12th, 2020

Policing the Womb brings to life the chilling ways in which women have become the targets of secretive state surveillance of their pregnancies. Michele Goodwin expands the reproductive health and rights debate beyond abortion to include how legislators increasingly turn to criminalizing women for miscarriages, stillbirths, and threatening the health of their pregnancies.

Resisting Carceral Violence: Women's Imprisonment and the Politics of Abolition (Critical Criminological Perspectives) Cover Image
ISBN: 9783030403881
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Published: Palgrave MacMillan - December 31st, 2019

Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair Cover Image
ISBN: 9781551526430
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Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - October 4th, 2016

From intimate relationships to global politics, Sarah Schulman observes a continuum: that inflated accusations of harm are used to avoid accountability. Illuminating the difference between Conflict and Abuse, Schulman directly addresses our contemporary culture of scapegoating.

Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822362951
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Published: Duke University Press - August 12th, 2016

The editors and contributors to Color of Violence ask: What would it take to end violence against women of color? Presenting the fierce and vital writing of organizers, lawyers, scholars, poets, and policy makers, Color of Violence radically repositions the antiviolence movement by putting women of color at its center.

Ask: Building Consent Culture Cover Image
By Kitty Stryker, Carol Queen (Afterword by), Laurie Penny (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781944934255
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Published: Thorntree Press - October 27th, 2017

Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission?” Violating consent isn’t limited to sexual relationships, and our discussions around consent shouldn’t be, either. To resist rape culture, we need a consent culture—and one that is more than just reactionary.

Changing Lenses: Restorative Justice for Our Times Cover Image
ISBN: 9780836199475
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Published: Herald Press (VA) - June 10th, 2015

Does the criminal justice system actually help victims and offenders? What does justice look like for those who have been harmed? For those who have done harm? Twenty-five years after it was first published, Changing Lenses by Howard Zehr remains the classic text of the restorative justice field.

Security, with Care: Restorative Justice and Healthy Societies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781552664254
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Published: Fernwood Publishing - April 1st, 2011

"I learned that the problems were much deeper than a flawed criminal justice system, and that our work needed to begin in our relationships with each other and the natural world, and most importantly, with ourselves." (from the preface)

The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626568419
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Published: Berrett-Koehler Publishers - September 12th, 2016

Create a Culture of Belonging!

Transforming Communities: How People Like You Are Healing Their Neighborhoods Cover Image
ISBN: 9780827237155
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Published: Chalice Press - November 7th, 2017

The world around us is a wreck. When there's so much conflict around the country and around the corner, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, powerless, and helpless. What can one person do to make a difference?

Administrations of Lunacy: Racism and the Haunting of American Psychiatry at the Milledgeville Asylum Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620972977
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Published: New Press - April 14th, 2020

A scathing and original look at the racist origins of psychiatry, through the story of the largest mental institution in the world

Today, 90 percent of psychiatric beds are located in jails and prisons across the United States, institutions that confine disproportionate numbers of African Americans.

The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences Working Toward Freedom Cover Image
By Alice Kim (Editor), Erica Meiners (Editor), Jill Petty (Editor)
ISBN: 9781608468997
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Published: Haymarket Books - October 9th, 2018

Long Term Offenders, or LTOs, is the state's term for those it condemns to effective death by imprisonment. Often serving sentences of sixty to eighty years, LTOs bear the brunt of the bipartisan embrace of mass incarceration heralded by the "tough on crime" agenda of the 1990s and 2000s.

The Little Book of Restorative Justice for People in Prison: Rebuilding the Web of Relationships (Justice and Peacebuilding) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781561485239
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Published: Good Books - August 1st, 2006

Over 170,000 copies sold! Restorative justice argues that crime destroys people and relationships. Justice, then, must repair and rebuild people and relationships. This is true for men and women that are incarcerated as it is for victims.

The more than 2.3 million incarcerated individuals in the United States are often regarded as a throw-away population.

The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, and US Social Transformation (Justice and Peacebuilding) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781680993431
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Published: Good Books - April 16th, 2019

In our era of mass incarceration, gun violence, and Black Lives Matters, a handbook showing how racial justice and restorative justice can transform the African-American experience in America.

This timely work will inform scholars and practitioners on the subjects of pervasive racial inequity and the healing offered by restorative justice practices.

This book introduces Coming to the Table’s approach to a continuously evolving set of purposeful theories, ideas, experiments, guidelines, and intentions, all dedicated to facilitating racial healing and transformation.

People of color, relative to white people, fall on the negative side of virtually all measurable social indicators.

The Politics of Trauma: Somatics, Healing, and Social Justice Cover Image
By Staci Haines, Ai-Jen Poo (Foreword by), Richard Strozzi-Heckler (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781623173876
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Published: North Atlantic Books - November 19th, 2019

An essential tool for healers, therapists, activists, and trauma survivors who are interested in a justice-centered approach to somatic transformation

Learning Good Consent: On Healthy Relationships and Survivor Support Cover Image
By Cindy Crabb (Editor)
ISBN: 9781849352468
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Published: AK Press - June 28th, 2016

Cindy Crabb provides a DIY tour of the promise and perils of sexual relationships in Learning Good Consent. Building ethical relationships is one of the most important things we can do, but sex, consent, abuse, and support can get complicated. This collection is an indispensable guide to both preventing sexual violence and helping its survivors to heal.

Support: Feminist Relationship Tools to Heal Yourself and End Rape Culture Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781621069669
Published: Microcosm Publishing - November 28th, 2017

Support encourages everyone to take a step back, listen, think, and talk about sex, consent, violence, and abuse. If you or someone you know have ever been assaulted or victimized, how to be an ally can be confusing. These words and the connection they offer can help.

Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather Cover Image
ISBN: 9781849353564
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Published: AK Press - May 14th, 2019

Shawna Potter has been a touring musician for over twenty years--and has been sexually harassed for just as long. Here's her DIY guide to fighting back.

Police: A Field Guide Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781786630148
Published: Verso - March 13th, 2018

Radical glossary of the vocabulary of policing that redefines the very way we understand law enforcement

It doesn’t take firsthand experience to learn the meaning of pain compliance or rough ride.

You Have the Right to Remain Innocent Cover Image
ISBN: 9781503933392
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Published: Little a - September 20th, 2016

An urgent, compact manifesto that will teach you how to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future when talking to police.

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250044457
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Published: Square Fish - August 12th, 2014

No Choirboy takes readers inside America's prisons and allows inmates sentenced to death as teenagers to speak for themselves. In their own voices—raw and uncensored—they talk about their lives in prison and share their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up there.

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525580034
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Published: Delacorte Press - September 18th, 2018

The young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy--now a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson and the subject of an HBO documentary feature!

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078240
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Published: Vintage - August 22nd, 2017

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • The definitive history of the infamous 1971 Attica Prison uprising, the state's violent response, and the victim's decades-long quest for justice. • Thompson served as the Historical Consultant on the Academy Award-nominated documentary feature ATTICA

Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620970676
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Published: New Press - September 1st, 2015

A brilliant overview of America's defining human rights crisis and a "much-needed introduction to the racial, political, and economic dimensions of mass incarceration" (Michelle Alexander)

Understanding Mass Incarceration offers the first comprehensive overview of the incarceration apparatus put in place by the world's largest jailer: the United States.

The Movement for Reproductive Justice: Empowering Women of Color Through Social Activism (Social Transformations in American Anthropology #5) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781479812707
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Published: New York University Press - May 19th, 2020

2021 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine

Shows how reproductive justice organizations' collaborative work across racial lines provides a compelling model for other groups to successfully influence change

Making It Right: Building Peace, Settling Conflict Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781554518098
Published: Annick Press - October 11th, 2016

What if there were no prisons? Alternative approaches to dealing with crime are underway around the world to explore how victims, offenders, and communities can heal rifts and repair damage. It's often called restorative justice. It's a way to think about the deeper reasons behind crimes, and suggests that by building more caring communities, it's possible to change our societies--and ourselves.

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580058070
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Published: Hachette Go - June 2nd, 2020

An Invitation to Community and Models for Connection

Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm Cover Image
By Kazu Haga, Bernard LaFayette Jr. (Foreword by), David C. Jehnsen (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781946764430
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Published: Parallax Press - January 14th, 2020

An expert in the field offers a mindfulness-based approach to nonviolent action, demonstrating how nonviolence is a powerful tool for personal and social transformation

A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today Cover Image
ISBN: 9781583673607
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Published: Monthly Review Press - August 1st, 2013

While the Civil Rights Movement is remembered for efforts to end segregation and secure the rights of African Americans, the larger economic vision that animated much of the movement is often overlooked today. That vision sought economic justice for every person in the United States, regardless of race.

Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Queer Ideas/Queer Action #5) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807051153
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Published: Beacon Press - January 24th, 2012

A groundbreaking work that turns a “queer eye” on the criminal legal system

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374537449
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 6th, 2018


When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250306906
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Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 14th, 2020

New York Times Editor’s Pick.

Library Journal Best Books of 2019.
TIME Magazine's "Best Memoirs of 2018 So Far."
O, Oprah’s Magazine’s “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.”
Politics & Current Events 2018 O.W.L. Book Awards Winner
The Root Best of 2018

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807039823
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Published: Beacon Press - August 27th, 2019

A manifesto from one of America's most influential activists which disrupts political, economic, and social norms by reimagining the Black Radical Tradition.

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States Cover Image
By Alicia Garza (Foreword by), Maya Schenwar (Editor), Joe Macaré (Editor)
ISBN: 9781608466122
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Published: Haymarket Books - June 21st, 2016

What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young black people in the United States fit into the historical and global context of anti-blackness?

Chokehold: Policing Black Men Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620974834
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Published: New Press - September 18th, 2018

Finalist for the 2018 National Council on Crime & Delinquency's Media for a Just Society Awards

Nominated for the 49th NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction)

A 2017 Washington Post Notable Book

A Kirkus Best Book of 2017

Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond Cover Image
By Marc Lamont Hill, Todd Brewster (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781501124969
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Published: Atria Books - May 2nd, 2017

Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

Nautilus Award Winner

“A worthy and necessary addition to the contemporary canon of civil rights literature.” —The New York Times

From one of the leading voices on civil rights in America, a thoughtful an