The Future of the Prison Abolition Movement

Prison abolition had been a widely discussed idea for centuries, and was adopted – even by centrists – in the 1970’s. During the last 40 years and a staggering boom in imprisonment – prison abolition seemed like a fringe idea. “Get rid of prisons?!” Only radical activists thought that was possible. But in the last decade the tide has been turning. We’ve had the work of Michelle Alexander and her book The New Jim Crow. We’ve seen people released from prison become advocates and lawyers, and change the terms of the discussion — people like Vonya Quarles. Even news personalities like Marc Lamont Hill now argue that abolition is a real and tangible goal. In this episode of Making Contact, we hear from all three of these thinkers about the state of the prison movement, and the growing reality of abolition.