The Prison Abolition Issue

In our special Prison Abolition Issue, we asked prisoners across Canada and the U.S. to reflect on the question, "Can you imagine a world without prisons?" They write about surviving COVID outbreaks; unequal treatment of women and men inside; prisons as a tool of colonialism; the war on drugs and coercive drug treatment programs; what it would take to heal intergenerational trauma; participating in hunger strikes and prisoners' committees; and fighting to abolish prisons from inside them. 

Add To Cart $6.95

  • Magazine

    How the Prison Abolition Issue came to be

    Roughly 10 members of the editorial collective – comprised of Inreach and Free Lands Free Peoples members, and Briarpatch staff – have met every two weeks since April to shape this special issue.

  • Magazine

    Evidence of an unjust justice system

    Governments criminalize poor people, and then allow companies to exploit prisoners’ basic needs for profit.

  • Magazine

    Fed up with being locked down

    Prisons cause irreparable harm to the people inside them. Destroy the system before it can destroy more lives.

  • Magazine

    Prisons are built on our backs

    The colonial economics of incarceration

  • Magazine

    Criminal code is the new buffalo

    On reverse onus and colonial justice

  • Magazine

    On Therapeutic Community

    Why punitive, coercive, and obedience-based drug treatment programs in prison don’t work.

  • Magazine

    Death by a thousand cuts: Aging in Canadian prisons

    Elderly prisoners need health care, not incarceration.

  • Magazine

    Two poems from prison

    No bullet, no sword, nor anything formed, / nothing short of a category 4 storm, / Could ever kill an Indian that’s immortal

  • Magazine

    Why choose to live?

    Surviving a COVID outbreak inside a federal prison

  • Magazine

    Guilty until proven innocent

    Living on remand, it’s important to know how to fight for your rights when the justice system breaks its own rules.

  • Magazine

    Abuse of authority

    Correctional officers don’t help “correct” prisoners – most of them simply create an environment that’s toxic for both prisoners and other staff.

  • Magazine

    COVID and sexism in a women’s prison

    Women have struggled to get what little we have in prison – but the COVID pandemic has stripped even that away.

  • Magazine

    Healed people heal people

    In a world without prisons, we could break the vicious cycle of generational poverty, trauma, and incarceration.

  • Magazine

    Cosmetic change is not prison reform

    “Prison reform” is an empty promise from politicians and corrections departments who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

  • Magazine

    One less prison to be torn down

    How prisoners helped stop the construction of a new prison camp in Kentucky

  • Magazine

    What does freedom feel like?

    In unnaturally small carceral spaces, it’s common for prisoners’ eyesight to degrade due to the lack of stimulation that comes with larger distances and depths. It begs the question: which other senses does confinement diminish? To what degree? Do they come back?