Rad Reading: "Are Prisons Obsolete?"

Text: Are Prisons Obsolete?

Author: Angela Y. Davis

Quote to Highlight: "Positing decarceration as our overarching strategy, we [should] try to envision a continuum of alternatives to imprisonment – demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance."

Quick Summary: Davis discusses the prison industrial complex and advocates for prison abolition, arguing that once, the abolition of slavery and the convict-lease system was also thought "impossible," but their abolition was made into reality through tireless social activism and  movements.

File it under: Racial justice, prison abolition, white supremacy, criminalization of people of color

Type of text: Academic text


POC Online Classroom strives to make social justice readings and resources accessible - with particular focus on the knowledge of people of color and other marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a new series that will give readers a quick idea of each text before they delve into it. We will post every Tuesday and Thursday. This is one of the first in the series, but we hope to have one for every resource on the website in the future. Stay tuned!


Abaki Beck