When I was asked to define prison organizing, I was stuck for a moment. I realized that I had never defined what I do as prison organizing. First, my concerns have always been about more than the prison itself. Second, my work extends beyond prisons and jails. Third, and most important, my goal has always … Continue reading Dis-Organizing Prisons, by Stevie Wilson
As an incarcerated penal abolitionist, I’m often asked by other prisoners: what do we do about murderers and rapists? When this happens, I acknowledge the fears that people convicted of these crimes might harm others, but I ask the questioner what their real concern is. Invariably and resoundingly, it’s safety—for themselves and their loved ones. … Continue reading Security Does Not Mean Safety: #1
I've been re-reading the intro from the inaugural issue of Propter Nos, published by True Leap Press (twitter: @true_leap) and it made me think about some things... I am often frustrated by other prisoners myopic view of just what is happening to us. The PIC is never "wholly grasped in its systemic totality," as True … Continue reading Addressing Internal Contradictions
"We cannot solve our problems using the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Eistein
The truth is that Just Leadership USA is not abolitionist. It is another liberal, nonprofit that has appropriated abolitionist terminology to broaden its appeal. That's how they fooled us into becoming members. They support the caging and disappearing of poor folk. Their only concern are the "excesses" of the PIC, not its fundamental existence. That being the case, we renounce our memberships in Just Leadership USA. We strongly support the work and efforts of the No New Jails Movement in NYC.
Questions for Prison Activists Scenario #2 So, a queer friend here has a bad gambling habit. He gets into debt and into trouble with the people he owes. He moved onto my block, and a guy who is known for targeting white and biracial, smaller prisoners for sex reeled him in. This guy would loan … Continue reading Addressing Harm and Accountability in Spite of the Carceral State: #2
In response to a question posed by Critical Resistance (How can people on the outside support the political work of people on the inside?), I wrote a list of ten ways people outside can help us. The first two points were: 1. Organize and struggle with us, but allow us to be the authorities of … Continue reading Words of Gratitude
“Prison abolition is not simply an end goal but also an everyday practice. Being an abolitionist is about changing the ways we interact with others on an ongoing basis and changing harmful patterns in our daily lives. Abolitionist practice means questioning punitive impulses in our intimate relationships, rethinking the ways we deal with personal conflicts, … Continue reading Doing Abolition