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Encyclopedia > Prison abolition movement

The aim of the prison abolition movement is to eliminate prisons, jails, immigration detention centers, and prisoner of war camps by alternatives which they argue are more useful and more humane. Prison abolitionists present a broad critique of the criminal justice system in the West, which they feel is racist, classist, and ineffectual at “reforming” criminals, decreasing crime, or reconciling the victims of crime. Many people involved in the prison abolition movement are also involved in struggles against other forms of social control and "oppression," such as the institutionalization of the insane, and for this reason the struggle has been associated with anarchism and anti-authoritarians. Immigration Detention is the policy of indefinitely holding immigrants to a country while a determination is made as to whether they will be allowed to enter that country, or will be repatriated to the one from which they came. ... Prisoner of War camps Contents // Categories: Substubs | Prisons and detention centres ... An African-American man drinks out of the colored only water cooler at a racially segregated street car terminal in the United States in 1939. ... Classism (a term formed by analogy with racism) is any form of prejudice or oppression against people who are in, or who are perceived as being like those who are in, a lower social class (especially in the form of lower or higher socioeconomic status) within a class society. ... Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία (without archons (ruler, chief, king)). Thus anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that forms of rulership are undesirable and should be abolished. ... Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people or the doctrine that advocates such absolutism in rule, as in autocracy, despotism, dictatorship, and totalitarianism. ...

Contents


Advocates for prison abolition

Historically, Quakers were among the first advocates for alternatives to prison. The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ...


Anarchist groups such as Anarchist Black Cross have played a significant part in the prison abolition movement and this trend continues today. Anarchists wish to eliminate all forms of state control, of which imprisonment is one of its more obvious examples. Anarchists also oppose prisons because they house non-violent offenders, incarcerate mainly poor people or people of color, and do not generally rehabilitate criminals, in many cases making them worse. Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία (without archons (ruler, chief, king)). Thus anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that forms of rulership are undesirable and should be abolished. ... The Anarchist Black Cross (or ABC) is an anarchist political Prison Abolition organization, first started in Russia as the Anarchist Red Cross, a support organization for political prisoners. ... Anarchists can refer to several things, among which: The movie Anarchists Supporters of the principles of anarchism The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes), a famous song from Léo Ferré A List of anarchists This is a disambiguation page—a list of articles associated with the same title. ...


Prison reforms and alternatives

In place of prisons, anarchism proposes community-controlled courts, councils, or assemblies to control the problem of social crime. They argue that with the destruction of capitalism, and the self-management of production by workers and communities, property crimes would largely vanish.


Tactics differ significantly depending on the political beliefs behind them, and include:

  • Penal system reforms
  • Prison condition reforms
  • Crime prevention rather than punishment
  • Stopping of specific government programs that increase prison population (e.g. War on Drugs)
  • Education programs
  • Decreasing ethnic disparity in prison populations
  • Fighting individual cases of wrongful conviction
  • Educating people who have never been in prison about the problems

Probation is the suspension of a prison or jail sentence - the criminal who is on probation has been convicted of a crime, but instead of serving prison time, has been found by the Court to be amenable to probation and will be returned to the community for a period in... Restitution is the name given to a form of legal relief in which the plaintiff recovers something from the defendant that belongs, or should belong, to the plaintiff. ... A mandatory sentence is a judicial decision setting the punishment to be inflicted on a person convicted of a crime where judicial discretion is limited by law. ... Operation Mallorca, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 2005 [1] The War on Drugs is an initiative undertaken by the United States to carry out an all-out offensive (as President Nixon described it) against the prohibited use of certain legally controlled drugs. ...

Arguments for prison abolition

  • Prisons are less effective at discouraging crime and/or compensating victims than other forms of punishment.
  • In the United States of America, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not abolish slavery, but limited it to cases where it is a "punishment for the crime". In some countries prisons are nothing more than institutionalized slavery.
  • Judicial outcome depends on the financial resources of the accused.
  • Legislature is biased towards profiting one segment of the population over another. In most countries tobacco is legal, while marijuana is not, because large corporations control the former, while the latter will be impossible to control and tax.
  • Police and prisons alienate people from their communities.
  • The criminal justice systems in the West overwhelmingly target people of color and from the lower class.
  • Prisons are not proven to make people less violent, in fact often they promote violence in individuals by surrounding them with other violent criminals and providing them no means of love, care and emotional support.

Amendment XIII (the Thirteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution abolished slavery and, with the exception of allowing punishments for crimes, prohibits involuntary servitude. ... Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... It has been suggested that Chattel slavery be merged into this article or section. ... bourgeoisie is basically a trem that meens middle class. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ... Species N. glauca N. longiflora N. rustica N. sylvestris N. tabacum Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005 Tobacco (, L.) refers to a genus of broad-leafed plants of the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America, or to the dried and cured leaves of such plants. ... Species Cannabis indica Cannabis ruderalis Cannabis sativa Cannabis is a genus of flowering plant that includes one or more species. ... A corporation is a legal person that exists quite separately from the natural persons who work with and for it. ... A tax is an involuntary fee paid by individuals or businesses to a state, or to functional equivalents of a state, including tribes, secessionist movements or revolutionary movements. ... Alienation is estrangement or splitting apart. ... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... Colored and person of color (or people of color in the plural sense) are terms that were commonly used to describe people who do not have white skin or a Caucasian appearance. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ...

Arguments against prison abolition

  • Prisons are necessary to preserve order and peace in society.
  • Prisons provide appropriate punishment for crimes against society.

See also

List of organizations supporting prison abolition

The Anarchist Black Cross (or ABC) is an anarchist political Prison Abolition organization, first started in Russia as the Anarchist Red Cross, a support organization for political prisoners. ... The Anarchist Prisoners Legal Aid Network (APLAN) is an Anarchist organization that provides legal aid to known anarchist prisoners and publishes the newsletter We Never Sleep. ... Critical Resistance is an organization that aims to dismantle the prison system. ... Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) is an all volunteer prison activist organization located at 1904 Franklin St. ...

List of other relevant organizations

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a major national non-profit organization based in New York City that defends individual rights in the United States through litigation. ... American Friends Service Committee logo The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) affiliated organization which works for social justice, peace and reconciliation, abolition of the death penalty, and human rights, and provides humanitarian relief. ... Books to Prisoners is an umbrella term for several projects and organizations that mail free reading material to prison inmates. ... Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to challenge inflexible and excessive penalties required by mandatory sentencing laws. ... The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States. ... The November Coalition is a non-profit grassroots organization, was founded in 1997, fighting against War on Drugs and for the rights of the prisoners encarcerated as the effect of that war. ...

Relevant topics

Angela Yvonne Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American radical activist who was associated with the Black Panther Political Party,(not to be confused with the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) primarily working for racial and gender equality and for prison abolition. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... This article is about law in society. ... Prison reform is the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons, aiming at a more effective penal system. ... Prison education involves vocational training or academic education supplied to prisoners as part of their rehabilitation and preparation for life outside prison. ... Penal labour is a form of the unfree labour. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Most prisons are operated by government agencies. ... Probation is the suspension of a prison or jail sentence - the criminal who is on probation has been convicted of a crime, but instead of serving prison time, has been found by the Court to be amenable to probation and will be returned to the community for a period in...

External links

  • Prison abolition & alternatives
  • ZNet article on Prison Abolition
  • Prison Abolition pamphlet
  • Radical Alternatives to Prison
  • Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Article calling for abolition of prisons by conservative author Gary North
  • IWW General Defense Committee

  Results from FactBites:
 
Prison abolition movement information - Search.com (509 words)
The aim of the prison abolition movement is to eliminate prisons, jails, immigration detention centers, and prisoner of war camps by alternatives which they argue are more useful and more humane.
Prison abolitionists present a broad critique of the criminal justice system in the West, which they feel is racist, classist, and ineffectual at “reforming” criminals, decreasing crime, or reconciling the victims of crime.
Many people involved in the prison abolition movement are also involved in struggles against other forms of social control and "oppression," such as the institutionalization of the insane, and for this reason the struggle has been associated with anarchism and anti-authoritarians.
prison: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (6262 words)
Prisons are conventionally institutions which form part of the criminal justice system of a country, such that imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime.
Prisons may also be used as a tool of political repression to detain political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and "enemies of the state", particularly by authoritarian regimes.
Prisons form part of military systems, and are used variously to house prisoners of war, unlawful combatants, those whose freedom is deemed a national security risk by military or civilian authorities, and members of the military found guilty of a serious crime.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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