Tag: prison state
Don’t Extend Gang Classification, Abolish It
After antifa clashed with right-wing protesters in Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin argued that California “should classify [Antifa] as a gang.” Later this month, juggalos – fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse (ICP) – will protest their own federal gang classification in Washington, DC. Gang classification is commonly misunderstood. ICP themselves were originally amused…
Prisons and Primitive Accumulation
One important point my colleague Kevin Carson has emphasized repeatedly is that the prevailing labor relations in our society are not just a natural outgrowth of voluntary exchanges in a free market. Instead, they have resulted from pervasive state intervention that constrains the options of workers, thus leaving them in a worse position to bargain…
Trattamento Sanitario Obbligatorio: la Malattia è un Crimine?
Trattamento sanitario obbligatorio indica la capacità dello stato di ricoverare un malato di mente contro la sua volontà. Forse la legge più famosa al proposito è la Baker Act, approvata in Florida nel 1971, legge che autorizza il ricovero coatto di una persona che (a) potrebbe soffrire di disturbi mentali, e (b) potrebbe essere pericoloso…
Involuntary Commitment: Is Illness a Crime?
Involuntary commitment is the ability of the State to institutionalize mentally ill people against their will. Perhaps the most well-known law providing for involuntary commitment is Florida’s “Baker Act” of 1971, which allows for the involuntary commitment of a person who (a) may possibly have a mental illness, and (b) may be harm to themselves,…
No Justice from the Prison State on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Cory Massimino‘s “No Justice from the Prison State” read by Christopher B. King and edited by Nick Ford. As prison system inspectors visited Franklin Correctional Institution they discovered an incident from three years prior in which an inmate, 27-year-old Randall Jordan-Aparo, begged officer Rollin Suttle Austin, to take him to the hospital because of…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Prisons and the Myth of Democratic Legitimacy
It’s election day in the USA. The mass incarceration nation is deciding which political opportunists will rule. On the state and local level, citizens are casting their votes on ballot initiatives that will determine the structure, specifics, or application of state coercion. Some of these ballot initiatives probably deserve support from prison abolitionists, specifically initiatives…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Exploring the Causes of Mass Incarceration
It’s well known that the United States has the largest prison population on Earth. It’s less obvious why this is the case. To truly understand mass incarceration, we should examine what caused America’s prison population to grow so dramatically over the last several decades. The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and…
The Weekly Abolitionist: The Pernicious Consequences of Mandatory Minimums
Mandatory minimum sentences have been receiving a fair bit of scrutiny lately, largely due to the efforts of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). And rightly so. Mandatory minimums remove discretion and context from sentencing, resulting in grossly unjust and wildly disproportionate sentences for minor offenses. Moreover, they’ve caused some troubling shifts in who has discretionary…
Nessuna Giustizia dallo Stato Prigione
Di recente, il dipartimento penitenziario della Florida ha licenziato 32 secondini, misura presa dopo anni di presunte corruzioni all’interno del sistema carcerario, corruzioni alle quali è legata la morte di almeno quattro carcerati. I rappresentanti sindacali hanno definito il licenziamento di massa il “massacro del venerdì sera”. Un massacro che io approvo. Scavando tra i…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Do We Want Cops & Politicians in Prison?
Do we want cops and politicians to go to prison? Is that a demand that individualist anarchists, radical libertarians, and other enemies of the state should get behind? Intuitively, it seems like we should. We’re instinctively outraged that cops can outright murder people and almost never get locked up for it. We’re understandably incensed that politicians…
No Justice from the Prison State
Florida’s Department of Corrections recently fired 32 guards after years of alleged corruption in the prison system with at least four related inmate deaths. Union officials call the mass layoff a “Friday night massacre.” Now that’s one massacre I can get behind. Reporters digging deeper into the prison records found multiple incidents of abuse and so-called…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Pretrial Detention as a Human Rights Crisis
A new report from the Open Society Justice Initiative documents the overuse of pretrial detention around the globe. The report estimates that around 3.3 million people are currently incarcerated awaiting trial. These people have yet to be convicted of any crime, yet they are locked in cages and subjected to brutal human rights abuses. Martin Schoenteich…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Why Abolition Must Be Emphasized
For this week’s Weekly Abolitionist post, I’d like to emphasize the importance of holding a specifically abolitionist stance on prisons. Getting rid of prisons is not just one more reform to tack on after we’ve accomplished everything else. It’s the primary goal, and all other reforms should be judged with that in mind. The key…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Gun Control, Structural Racism, and the Prison State
An excellent article published last week by Radley Balko in The Washington Post explores the racially discriminatory consequences of gun control laws in the United States, as illustrated through the lens of several recent news stories. Balko begins by discussing the arrest of Shaneen Allen: Last October, Shaneen Allen, 27, was pulled over in Atlantic…
The Weekly Abolitionist: “Remember All Their Faces, Remember All Their Voices”
Since Nathan Goodman has asked me to fill in for him this week on The Weekly Abolitionist, I’d like to focus on something important to radical political struggles that isn’t talked about much: fiction. As prison abolitionists, we can talk at length about the ways that prisons as such encourage abuse, add to recidivism, interlock…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Jury Nullification in The Nation
On July 7th, Molly Knefel published a great piece on jury nullification in The Nation. Knefel opens by discussing the trial of Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street protester who was convicted of “assaulting” a police officer who had assaulted her, and sentenced to a prison term that most of the jurors who convicted her…
The Weekly Abolitionist: How Prisons Kill
In recent weeks, I’ve seen multiple stories about deaths in prisons. These deaths were all preventable and easily attributable to prison conditions. Let’s examine a few of these incidents. According to the Miami Herald, “Florida’s Department of Corrections is facing a third potential criminal probe in the wake of another inmate death at a state…
The Weekly Abolitionist: Stop Caging Kids
This week marks the 2014 National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth. Across the country, actions will be held to protest everything from the criminalization of queer and disabled youth to the isolation of youth in solitary confinement. Ultimately, what activists are protesting is systematic child abuse by the state. Kids are being locked in…
Let’s Abolish Prisons: Interview with Cory Massimino
Jeffrey Tucker of Liberty.me takes on the tricky topic of prisons and the market solution with Cory Massimino.
The Weekly Abolitionist: Prison Healthcare and Structural Neglect
Robert Johannes, a 73 year old man, is currently incarcerated in Michigan. His attorney, Daniel E. Manville, contends that inadequate access to dental care has left Johannes missing teeth for extended periods of time and unable to eat. As Michigan Live reported, “The lawsuit claims that Johannes has had several teeth removed, including three bicuspids and…
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