Have you ever imagined a world without prisons and jails? Prison abolitionists have, and they might just be onto something.
Prison abolition may appear to be a radical conception, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, in the ’60s and ’70s, the idea of prison abolition in the United States was a very real issue being discussed among academics and politicians alike. This was before the passage of sweeping policies and laws targeting impoverished black and brown communities, a resurgence of the racist war on drugs, and Clinton-era criminal justice policies that collectively transformed America into the world’s largest prison state. The prison abolition movement is alive and well, and those who ascribe to its principals are still hoping for drastic change.