Transformative justice in an era of mass criminalization

March 14, 2019

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On the twelfth episode of The Activist Files, Senior Legal Worker Leah Todd talks with educator, organizer, and director of Project NIA Mariame Kaba and journalist, author, and organizer Victoria Law about their work on issues of violence, incarceration, gender, criminalization, and transformative justice. Mariame and Victoria share the personal experiences that brought them to their social justice work. They discuss the cycles of violence created by carceral solutions to social problems, and talk about the growing phenomenon of mass criminalization, including how the term allows us to think beyond just the impacts of incarceration and see ways that surveillance and punishment affect people’s lives even outside of prison walls. In a comment that may remind Activist Files listeners of our last episode, Victoria and Mariame discuss the ways that prisons and carceral solutions have “stripped away our imagination,” providing a one-size-fits-all response to harm that often causes more harm without providing resolution, safety, or healing. This episode highlights the importance of thinking in new ways about healing and providing accountability for harm, which is explored in Mariame’s project Episode 12 of The Activist Files is vital listening for anyone interested in how to go beyond punishing harm, to healing from, being accountable for, and preventing it.