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In the 1960s and 1970s, groups like the U.S. Prison Research Education Action Project and the Norwegian Association for Penal Reform advocated for a world without prisons. Instead, incarceration boomed, growing in the United States from about 200,000 prisoners to an unprecedented 2 million and more. Now, a movement to abolish prisons has returned, with grassroots movements and critical research converging on an uncompromising critique of the regime of mass incarceration.
This book provides a trenchant guide to prison abolition, explaining why the solution to the criminal justice crisis is ending policing, imprisonment, and mass surveillance, and building a society that creates alternatives to punishment and carceral solutions to social contradictions. The book details and evaluates abolitionist projects throughout North America that provide alternative models, and reveals what it means to work for abolition today, explores ways to ‘de-carceralize’ society.