Dismantling Mass Incarceration: A Handbook for Change (Paperback)
A vital reader on ending mass incarceration featuring advocates, experts, and formerly incarcerated people.
In recent years, a searching national conversation has called attention to the social and racial injustices that define America’s criminal system. The incarceration of vast numbers of people, and the punitive treatment of African Americans in particular, are targets of widespread criticism. But despite the election of progressive prosecutors in several cities and the passage of reform legislation at the local, state, and federal levels, the system remains very much intact. How can the damage and depredations of the carceral state be undone?
In this pathbreaking reader, three of the nation’s leading advocates —Premal Dharia, James Forman Jr., and Maria Hawilo—provide us with tools to move from despair and critique to hope and action. Dismantling Mass Incarceration surveys new approaches to confronting the carceral state in all its guises, exploring ways that police, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, prisons, and even life after prison can be radically reconceived. The book captures debates about the comparative merits of reforming or abolishing prisons and police forces, and introduces a host of bold but practical interventions. The contributors range from noted figures such as Angela Davis, Clint Smith, and Larry Krasner to local organizers, judges, and people currently or formerly incarcerated. The result is an invaluable guide for students, activists, and anyone who wishes to understand mass incarceration—and hasten its end.
About the Author
James Forman, Jr. is a professor of law at Yale Law School. He has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, numerous law reviews, and other publications. A former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, he spent six years as a public defender in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize—winning Locking Up Our Own and a co-editor of Dismantling Mass Incarceration.
"Dismantling Mass Incarceration is an urgently needed practical call to action on one of the defining issues of modern American history. The anthology is chock full of big ideas from the big thinkers: it brings together a phenomenal collection of contributors including fallen movement leaders, public intellectuals, scholars, formerly incarcerated artists, judges, lawyers and more." —Chesa Boudin