For introductory context on the U.S. prison system, see Prison Policy Initiative, “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020.” For a more academic list of resources, see here. See also, An Indigenous Abolitionist Study Guide. For an overview of the prison industrial complex, see here.
Dan Berger, Mariame Kaba, and David Stein, “What Abolitionists Do,” 2017.
Mariame Kaba and John Duda, “Toward the Horizon of Abolition: A Conversation with Mariame Kaba,” 2017.
Rachel Herzing, “Black Liberation and the Abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex: An Interview with Rachel Herzing,” 2016.
Colin Kaepernick et al., Abolition for the People Compilation, 2020.
Rachel Kushner, “Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind,” 2019.
Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes, “A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation,” 2018.
Joshua Dubler and Vincent Lloyd, “Think Prison Abolition in America is Impossible? It Once Felt Inevitable,” 2018.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore and James Kilgore, “The Case for Abolition,” 2019.
K Agbebiyi, “Prison Abolition FAQ,” 2020.
Dean Spade, “Prison Abolition Argument Chart,” 2017.
Micah Herskind, “Some Reflections on Prison Abolition,” 2019.
Reina Sultan and Micah Herskind, “What is Abolition, and Why Do We Need It?”, 2020.
Zine Library, “Racial Capitalism and Prison Abolition,” 2020.
David Greenberg, “The Problem of Prisons,” 1970.
Ann Hansen, “Harm Reduction Guided By the Goal of Abolition of Prisons and Capitalism: An Interview with Former Direction Action Member and Ex-Prisoner Ann Hansen,” 2021.
Hans Bennett and Rose Braz, “Organizing to Abolish the Prison-Industrial Complex,” 2008.
Listening and Viewing
Reina Gossett and Dean Spade, YouTube Abolition Series, 2014:
- “Prison Abolition and Prefiguring the World You Want to Live In”
- “Practicing Abolition Every Day”
- “What About the Dangerous People?”
Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein, “Beyond Prisons” podcast.
Josh Briond and Jared Ware, “Millenials Are Killing Capitalism” podcast.
Chris Hayes, “Thinking About How to Abolish Prisons with Mariame Kaba,” 2019
Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith, “Justice in America: Mariame Kaba and Prison Abolition,” 2019.
Longer Pieces and Books
Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?, 2003.
The CR10 Publications Collective, Abolition NOW! Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex.
Mariame Kaba, We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice, 2021. [interview with author linked]
Derecka Purnell, Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protest, and the Pursuit of Freedom, 2021 [interview with author linked]
Julia Sudbury, “Reform or Abolition? Using Popular Mobilizations to Dismantle the ‘Prison-Industrial Complex,’” 2016.
Allegra McLeod, “Prison Abolition and Grounded Justice,” 2015.
Patrisse Cullors, “Abolition and Reparations: Histories of Resistance, Transformative Justice, and Accountability,” 2019.
Liat Ben-Mosche, “Abolition as Knowledge and Ways of Unknowing,” 2020.
Angela Davis, Gina Dent, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richie, Abolition. Feminism. Now., 2022. [interview with authors linked]
Ruth Morris, Penal Abolition: The Practical Choice, 1995. [I don’t have a link, but buy it! It’s a great book!!]
Eugene Debs, Walls and Bars: Prisons and Prison Life in the “Land of the Free“, 1927. [review of book linked]