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Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis

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

Davis weaves together the history of slavery, redemption, gender issues, capitalist pressures and the consequences of de-industrialization in the late 20th century. Her proposed way forward is a complete abolishment of incarceration, and replacement of the punishment system with structures for supporting human flourishing: education, health care, and a “justice system based on reparation and reconciliation”. She writes: “The first step, then, would be to let go of the desire to discover one single alternative system of punishment that would occupy the same footprint as the prison system.”

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