I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Prison Industrial Complex and Masculinity

Just found this - check it out! I had no idea these folks were out there - and they're having a forum on the prison industrial complex in December!

Okay, I'm stealing this post, but will get in touch with the blog authors - it looks like a whole class.

The Journey: Discussions on the construction of masculinity in America. 
The Prison Industrial Complex
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Since we didn't have as much time as I had hoped to explore the PIC and masculinity, we didn't have the opportunity to explore alternatives to mass-imprisonment and the PIC. After class we may have left some of you feeling as though there isn't much that can be done to end the horrendous treatment of millions of people in prisons in this country. Fortunately, that's not the case! There are alternatives to the PIC and there are many groups that are working to end the inhumane, classist, racist, sexist, and violent institution of modern prisons. The following links are to a few of the groups that are working to end our dependence upon the prison industrial complex. (There are many more but these are a few that we're familiar with). (a nation-wide group focusing on prison abolition and alternative forms of community safety) (a Quaker-based social justice organization focused on prison abolition generally and long-term solitary confinement in particular) (an internet-based forum for discussing issues particular to women entangled in the PIC) and the (a group focused on preserving the rights of transgender, gender variant, and intersexed prisoners, particularly in California)

Common conceptions of an alternative to the PIC include redirecting the money currently pouring into caging people toward education and job opportunities for poor, urban communities that are disproportionately affected by the PIC. Actively blocking the privatization of prisons and decrying the abuses that occur inside prisons of every type are also common tactics. We can support alternatives to incarceration including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, reduction of sentences for non-violent crimes, and community-based programs for juveniles instead of incarceration.

Of course none of these tactics in themselves will eradicate the PIC; as we learned yesterday, it is inextricably entwined with capitalism and patriarchy to the point that we will not be able to end imprisonment without changing our culture of violence and greed. However, there are some steps we can take to diminish the PICs damaging effects while we continue the painfully slow process of shifting paradigms.

If you want to know more, be sure to come to the Prison Industrial Complex Forum, December 11th, 11-5pm at the Crossroads Center. We will be exploring the PIC through a number of different lenses (the media, gender and sexuality, the state, etc.), ending with two keynote speakers from prison abolition activist groups in Arizona.

-Amanda and Beth

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