Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Attorney Talks of New Movement in Activist’s Case

by Emily Wells A new front may be emerging in the fight to free African-American political activist and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1982 of the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. The fatal shooting of Faulkner happened in the early hours of Dec. 9, 1981, during a confrontation, witnessed by Abu-Jamal, between […]

On Dec. 6, 1865, Black bodies were nationalized – and our prison movement was born

Part II: Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018 by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, formerly known as Melvin Ray, Free Alabama Movement As I write this article, I am not sure what day the Civil War began or what day it ended. The facts that I do know about the Civil War are not worth repeating here, […]

Black August and the Unmasking of the US Police State

  “The reason you call the police is because you’re in a police state.” – Dhoruba bin-Wahad “Before our eyes and ears, a ‘web of business relationships that now defines America’s media and culture’ has one particular business raking in billions of dollars while another defines the culture of a specific demographic as criminal.” – […]

The Criminalized Majority

by Dan Berger and David Stein Image: MGN “Everyone should go to jail, say, once every ten years,” opined novelist and poet Jesse Ball in a recent LA Times article. It may seem like Swiftian satire, but Ball’s proposal is earnest. Addressed “to a nation of jailers,” he argues that a brief but regular stint in […]

‘13th’ and the culture of surplus punishment

by Victor Wallis Ava DuVernay undertook the documentary “13th” in order to explore and bring attention to the Prison Industrial Complex.[1] The film’s title refers to the 1865 amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in which slavery was abolished “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The story told by […]

Prisons and Other Maladies of the Racist State: Reading Blood in my Eye in the Era of Mass Incarceration

  Our “Reading Racial Conflict” series continues with a reflection on the evolution of mass incarceration policies. Dan Berger engages the present through George Jackson’s Blood in My Eye. Published posthumously in 1972 after Jackson’s death in a prison revolt he led, the book engages the intersection of race, imprisonment, and capitalism as it appeared in an earlier […]

How the Government Built a Trap for Black Youth

KELLY LYTLE HERNÁNDEZ Photograph: Rennett Stowe   From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America Elizabeth Hinton Harvard University Press, $29.95 (cloth) Elizabeth Hinton’s richly researched new book barrels toward one chilling conclusion: beginning as early as the Johnson administration, federal authorities—regardless of political affiliation—systematically constructed a […]

Juneteenth: A Celebration and Commitment to Fight for Liberation

Fri. June 23rd at 7:30 PM 2936 W. 8th Street in Los Angeles More than 150 years ago the 13th amendment, although not all at once, broke the shackles of slavery that clutched at the ankles of Black people. Since then, June 19th has rightfully been a cause for celebration, inspiring numerous festivals and parades […]

The downstream effect of 35 years of jail growth? A state prison boom

by Joshua Aiken  In our most recent report, Era of Mass Expansion, we argued that state lawmakers need to pay attention to local jails: the U.S. jail population has tripled over the last three decades almost entirely because local justice systems have increasingly detained people who are legally innocent but too poor to make bail. […]

Support the Hunger Strike of California Folsom Prisoners

Folsom Prison. Update: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network issued a statement on June 1 in support of the Folsom prisoners’ hunger strike. The strike began on May 25, reportedly with 59 prisoners of different races/nationalities participating. The statement said in part that “Samidoun expresses its strongest support for the strikers and their demands, and for […]