Are Prisons Obsolete?

Are Prisons Obsolete?

With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly,the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable.

In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.

Title:Are Prisons Obsolete?
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781583225813
Format Type:

    Are Prisons Obsolete? Reviews

  • Thomas

    Another amazing book from Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? asks us to imagine a world without prisons, a world more focused on healing and rehabilitation than punishment. Davis delineates the histo...

  • elena

    Rather, positing decarceration as our overarching strategy, we would try to envision a continuum of alterna­tives to imprisonment-demilitarization of schools, revital­ization of education at...

  • Michael

    Yes!...

  • Brad

    Some people ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" when they're considering an ethical dilemma. Lately, I've been asking myself, "what would Angela do?" when faced with the ugliness of humanity. Angel...

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez

    There's a lot of important information here (most of which can be found in Michelle Alexander's excellent book The New Jim Crow, and in more detail). Really, the only disappointing thing for me about ...

  • Natasha

    This is one of the most comprehensive, and accessible, books I have read on the history and development/evolution of the prison-industrial complex in the United States. Davis' language is not heavy wi...

  • jade

    “this is the ideological work that the prison performs -- it relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and...

  • Roy Lotz

    Despite the important gains of antiracist social movements over the last half century, racism hides from view within institutional structures, and its most reliable refuge is the prison system. If ...

  • jericho

    Incredibly informative and a pretty easy read. I agree with a lot of what Davis touches upon in this and would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about anti-prison movement. What I'm h...

  • anna ( of readsrainbow)

    absolutely crucial read on the history of prisons, and especially the role racism, sexism, classicism play in the mass incarceration. but the last chapter on alternatives to prisons leaves the reader ...