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May 22, 23

“States of Incarceration”: Abolition, Revolt, and Organization

In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we present a recording from a recent speaking tour of the Pacific Northwest featuring authors Jarrod Shanahan and Zhandarka Kurti, who discuss their new book, States of Incarceration: Rebellion, Reform, and America’s Punishment System. From the book’s description:

Inspired by the George Floyd Rebellion, States of Incarceration examines the ongoing reconfiguration of mass incarceration as crucial for understanding how race, class, and punishment shape America today. The rise of mass incarceration has coincided with massive disinvestment in working-class communities, particularly communities of color, and a commitment to criminalize poverty, addiction, and interpersonal violence. As Jarrod Shanahan and Zhandarka Kurti argue, the present is a moment of transition and potential reform of incarceration and, by extension, the American justice system. States of Incarceration provides insights into the rise of mass incarceration and its recent history while focusing on the needs of campaigners struggling with the issues of police and prison abolition, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with these questions.

During the discussion, Kurti and Shanahan talk about cycles of revolt and struggle and the questions that they pose: what forms or organization should rebels push to create? Should we struggle for reforms? How do we continue the spirit of revolt after the tear-gas fades? Hopefully this discussion will begin to address these questions and beyond.

More Info: States of Incarceration: Rebellion, Reform, and America’s Punishment System

Photo Credit: Flikr – Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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