Harmful Practice: Prison Systems

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)

“Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a statewide coalition of 70 grassroots organizations that is reducing the number of people in prisons and jails, shrinking the imprisonment system, and shifting public spending from corrections and policing to human services. Founded in 2003, our coalition amplifies the work of community leaders on issues from sentencing reform to conditions of confinement. We bridge movements for environmental, social, racial, and economic justice in California and across the nation. In addition to our organizational members, CURB’s Action Network is a thriving, growing movement of thoughtful, committed activists now numbering over 20,000!”

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Amnesty International

“Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights.”

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American Friends Service Committee

“AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.”

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All of Us or None

“All of Us or None is a grassroots civil and human rights organization fighting for the rights of formerly- and currently- incarcerated people and our families. We are fighting against the discrimination that people face every day because of arrest or conviction history. The goal of All of Us or None is to strengthen the voices of people most affected by mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex. Through our grassroots organizing, we are building a powerful political movement to win full restoration of our human and civil rights.”

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ACLU

“For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age of widespread government surveillance, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.”

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Abolitionist Tools

Abolitionist Tools “Critical Resistance’s mission is to end the prison industrial complex (PIC). The PIC is a system that uses policing, courts, and imprisonment to “solve” problems. We don’t agree that we need the PIC to keep us safe. Instead, we work to build safe and healthy communities that do not depend on prisons and punishment. “

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Youth Escape Arena., Inc.

“A Non-Traditional Practice for America’s Inner City Youth & Young Adults…Our program, The Youth Escape Arena model, redirects those off track in the arena of life. We are experts in the field, working with “At-Promise” youth and young adults who are often identified as the “At-Risk” population. The Youth and Young Adult Escape Arena, reconnects those who have disconnected themselves from school, work, group homes, and traditional living environments in their communities, and reconnects them with strategic plans that address their social emotional living, exposing the path to escape to an arena of alternative options, to an arena of positive outcomes. “

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Youth Justice Coalition

“The Youth Justice Coalition is working to build a youth, family, and formerly and currently incarcerated people’s movement to challenge America’s addiction to incarceration and race, gender and class discrimination in Los Angeles County’s, California’s and the nation’s juvenile and criminal injustice systems. The YJC’s goal is to dismantle policies and institutions that have ensured the massive lock-up of people of color, widespread law enforcement violence and corruption, consistent violation of youth and communities’ Constitutional and human rights, the construction of a vicious school-to-jail track, and the build-up of the world’s largest network of jails and prisons. We use transformative justice and community intervention/peacebuilding, FREE LA High School, know your rights, legal defense, and police and court monitoring to “starve the beast” – promoting safety in our schools, homes and neighborhoods without relying on law enforcement and lock-ups, preventing system contact, and pulling people out of the system. We use direct action organizing, advocacy, political education, and activist arts to agitate, expose, and pressure the people in charge in order to upset power and bring about change. “

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War Resisters International

“War Resisters’ International (WRI) works for a world without war. WRI is primarily a global pacifist and antimilitarist network of organisations, groups and individuals with over 90 affiliated groups in 40 countries.”

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War Resisters League

“The War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity. We are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war, including racism, sexism and all forms of exploitation.”

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War Resisters League – Workshops

“Over the past several years, War Resisters League has developed several interactive, popular education workshops that deal variously with: the war economy, tear gas, police militarization, and the complex role of identity in organizing, all with an eye towards day-to-day libratory organizing and training. This page then, gathers some of those efforts, often in partnership with activist groups, and offers them for download. Let’s go!”

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Voices for Creative Nonviolence

“Voices for Creative Nonviolence has long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws from the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003. Members of Voices led over 70 delegations to Iraq to challenge the economic sanctions and were present in Baghdad in resistance the 2003 U.S. military invasion. Since 2009, Voices has led delegations to Afghanistan to listen and learn from nonviolent grassroots movements and to raise awareness about the negative impacts of U.S. militarism in the region. We are on the precipice of a full blown world war if one is not already under way. And we ask: what must our response be? And our answer- as tentative, grappling, searching and seeking as it may be- is that it falls upon us as citizens of the country initiating this world war to utilize all nonviolent means available to turn off war- to engage the electoral and legislative process, most definitely; to protest, of course; and to march and demonstrate. We must also move from protest to active nonviolent resistance. We must withdraw our collaboration and complicity with this system and use our bodies and lives as a means to bring the machinery of death to a grinding halt. Nonviolence cannot be a single day event- it must be a commitment we make and act upon every day of our lives. What might this active nonviolent resistance look like? And how might we act in solidarity with the Iraqi and Afghan peoples and others who find themselves in the crosshairs of U.S. war-making? Voices is committed to strategic campaigns and experiments. We engage in active nonviolent resistance. Such resistance must take into account that war-making is both military and economic.”

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The Palestine Chronicle

“A non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the general public by providing a forum that strives to highlight issues of relevance to human rights, national struggles, freedom and democracy in the form of daily news, commentary, features, book reviews, photos, art, and more.”

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The Freedom Archives – Blog

Articles relevant to The Freedom Archives. “The Freedom Archives is a non-profit educational archive located in San Francisco dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of historical audio, video and print materials documenting progressive movements and culture from the 1960s to the 1990s. Offering a youth development program focused on engagement with these historical materials and providing media production training, we also produce original documentaries and educational resources for use by schools and organizations as tools for community building and social justice work.”

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The Freedom Archives

“The Freedom Archives is a non-profit educational archive located in San Francisco dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of historical audio, video and print materials documenting progressive movements and culture from the 1960s to the 1990s. Offering a youth development program focused on engagement with these historical materials and providing media production training, we also produce original documentaries and educational resources for use by schools and organizations as tools for community building and social justice work.”

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Solitary Watch

“Solitary Watch is a nonprofit national watchdog group that investigates, documents, and disseminates information on the widespread use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. Our mission is to provide the public—as well as practicing attorneys, legal scholars, law enforcement and corrections officers, policymakers, educators, advocates, people in prison and their families—with the first centralized source of unfolding news, original reporting, firsthand accounts, and background research on solitary confinement in the United States. Our hope is that such information will catalyze discussion, debate, and change on a vital domestic human rights issue. “

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Shine A Light

“UK investigative reporting on immigration detention and removal, deaths in state care or custody, prisons and child prisoners, outsourcing and austerity…Shine A Light is a UK-based investigative journalism project that works to expose injustice, prevent harm and give voice and ammunition to people working for a better world. We produce systematic, in-depth and original research and reporting here on opendemocracy.net. Everything we publish is grounded in rigorous research. Mindful that investigative journalism’s workforce is disproportionately privileged and white, Shine A Light promotes inclusion by persuasion, and we lead by example through our commissioning, teaching and paid-internship… We teach and run workshops on investigations, writing and storytelling. We love to collaborate.”

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Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos

“Mission​: To promote multicultural social justice, nonviolence and economic equity through cultural healing, civic leadership and youth & community development…Vision:
In all of our endeavors, we seek to provide curative space in the face of oppression. We seek the end of mass incarceration. We seek meaningful pathways for our youth, whether it be political and economic or interpersonal and spiritual. We seek a community where the importance of culture is understood and individuals can draw strength from their authentic selves. We seek a world that is truly just for all. We move forward knowing peace is possible when we come together with understanding, respect and love.”

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Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty

“Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty is an Alabama death row prisoner founded and run organization. We were founded in 1989. Our mission is to work together with friends and other supporters to educate the public and to bring about the abolition of the death penalty in Alabama.”

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Prison Radio

“Mission Statement: Prison Radio’s mission is to challenge unjust police and prosecutorial practices which result in mass incarceration, racism and gender discrimination. We do this by bringing the voices of men, women and kids into the public debate and dialogue on crime and punishment. Our radio broadcasts help spur the public to examine core issues that create crime and heighten disenfranchisement. Our educational materials serve as a catalyst for public activism, strengthening movements for social change. Prison Radio’s productions illustrate the perspectives and the intrinsic human worth of the more than 7.1 million people under correctional control in the U.S and those not served by the justice system.”

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Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

“Amplifying the voices of those in California’s solitary confinement in their call for an end to torture…The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition (PHSS)- originating in the San Francisco Bay Area and made up of grassroots organizations, family members, formerly incarcerated people, lawyers, and individuals- formed in 2011 to amplify the voices of CA prisoners on hunger strike striving to achieve their Five Core Human Rights Demands. The coalition continues to work in solidarity with CA prisoners and their families to amplify prisoners’ voices and end the torture that is solitary confinement.”

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POGO

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.

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Nonviolence International

“Nonviolence International researches and promotes nonviolent action and seeks to reduce the use of violence worldwide.  We believe that every culture and religion can employ appropriate nonviolent methods for positive social change and international peace.”

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National Lawyers Guild

“The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. Our mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests. This is achieved through the work of our members, and the Guild’s numerous organizational committees, caucuses and projects, reflecting a wide spectrum of intersectional issues. Guild members effectively network and hone their legal skills in order to help create change at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.”

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MediaJustice

“MediaJustice (formerly Center for Media Justice) is a racial justice hub for winning equity in a digital age. We boldly advance communication rights, access, and power for communities harmed by persistent dehumanization, discrimination and disadvantage. We envision a future where everyone has sustained and universal access to open and democratic media and technology platforms; a future in which we are all connected, represented and free.”

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Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

“LSPC organizes communities impacted by the criminal justice system and advocates to release incarcerated people, to restore human and civil rights and to reunify families and communities. We build public awareness of structural racism in policing, the courts and prison system and we advance racial and gender justice in all our work. Our strategies include legal support, trainings, advocacy, public education, grassroots mobilization and developing community partnerships.”

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Innate

“This site publishes a large number of nonviolence resources including regular editions of ‘Nonviolent News’.”

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Injustice: a film about Crime, Prison and Us (2018)

“2016-17 saw the worst prison riots in decades. Across the country the prisons estate exploded as warned by campaigners and prisoners. The flames of the riots cast a light on the so-called prison crisis. Look hard and you’ll see it’s not that prisons are in crisis, prisons are the crisis. Injustice investigates the crisis, and delves into the world of prisons, crime and the judicial system. Ex-prisoners, activists, criminologists and even prison governors tell us who the prisoners are and why they are inside. We hear what happens inside, and outside. Injustice asks what are prisons supposed to do and what do they actually do.”

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Highlander

“Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. We work with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny. Through popular education, language justice, participatory research, cultural work, and intergenerational organizing, we help create spaces — at Highlander and in local communities — where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. We develop leadership and help create and support strong, democratic organizations that work for justice, equality and sustainability in their own communities and that join with others to build broad movements for social, economic and restorative environmental change.”

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Friends Peace Teams

“Friends Peace Teams is a Spirit-led organization working to develop long-term relationships with communities in conflict around the world to create programs for peace building, healing and reconciliation.”

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Free the San Francisco Eight!

“The mission of the Committee for Defense of Human Rights is to draw attention to human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of the United States and law enforcement authorities which were carried out in an effort to destroy progressive organizations and individuals. By building coalitions with organizations and groups that advocate for human and civil rights, CDHR hopes to bring an end to these abuses. CDHR’s basic principles are set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture.”

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Fatal Encounters

“A step towards creating an impartial, comprehensive, and searchable national database of people killed during interactions with law enforcement.”

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Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

“We are named after Ella Baker, a brilliant, black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, we organize with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. “

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East Point Peace Academy

“The East Point Peace Academy is an organization dedicated to bringing about a culture of peace through training, education and the practice of Nonviolence and Conflict Reconciliation. We are grounded in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, and work with incarcerated populations, youth, activists and community leaders working to bring about the Beloved Community. We come from the traditions of the Nashville Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, the leaders of whom trained for a full year before engaging in direct action, and Gandhi and his 78 followers who went through a 15-year process of training and self purification before embarking on the Salt March. We believe that in order for us to create a peaceful world, we need to invest as much into peace as the military invests into war. Investments not only in money, but in time, commitment, strategy, unity and training. Through training and education, East Point transforms the hearts and minds of individuals, connecting them to a broader history of nonviolent social change movements, and inspiring them to become advocates for transforming the policies, cultures and value systems of their communities.”

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Critical Resistance – Analysis Archives

Analysis Archives “Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness.”

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Critical Resistance

“Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness.”

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Critical Resistance – Projects

“*Abolitionist educators campaign – We encourage you to build with CR, cultivate abolitionist education in your classrooms, and bring the practical lessons and strategic dreams of prison industrial complex abolition to your school and your community. *Breaking down the prison industrial complex – In this period of astonishing energy and public discussion about the state of policing, imprisonment, sentencing, and surveillance, CR is releasing a new video project titled Breaking Down the Prison Industrial Complex. The video project explores the current state of the prison industrial complex (PIC) and how people are fighting back to resist and abolish it. *Prisoners speak out: analysis and perspectives – From imprisoned contacts we have gathered (and then publicly shared) guidance, research, analysis, and testimony that has propelled our campaigns forward. This pages features relevant reports and correspondence that are part of our campaigns, projects, and political education. *Profiles in abolition: highlighting ongoing struggle to abolish the prison industrial complex – In 2016, Critical Resistance presented Profiles in Abolition, a national series intended to reinvigorate a critical understanding of prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition and inspire us to take creative and practical steps toward a liberated future – free of policing, imprisonment, or surveillance. We encourage you to check out the videos, photos and materials below.”

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