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Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms by Maya Schenwar & Victoria Law (foreward by Michelle Alexander)

Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms by Maya Schenwar & Victoria Law (foreward by Michelle Alexander)

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A crucial indictment of widely embraced “alternatives to incarceration” that exposes how many of these new approaches actually widen the net of punishment and surveillance

“But what does it mean—really—to celebrate reforms that convert your home into your prison?” — Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, from the foreword

“In this timely work‚ Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law offer us exciting new perspectives that reveal abolition to be the most reasonable path toward a just future.” — Angela Y. Davis, author of Are Prisons Obsolete?

Electronic monitoring. Locked-down drug treatment centers. House arrest. Mandated psychiatric treatment. Data-driven surveillance. Extended probation. These are some of the key alternatives held up as cost-effective substitutes for jails and prisons. But many of these so-called reforms actually widen the net, weaving in new strands of punishment and control, and bringing new populations, who would not otherwise have been subject to imprisonment, under physical control by the state.

As mainstream public opinion has begun to turn against mass incarceration, political figures on both sides of the spectrum are pushing for reform. But—though they’re promoted as steps to confront high rates of imprisonment—many of these measures are transforming our homes and communities into prisons instead.

In Prison by Any Other Name, activist journalists Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law reveal the way the kinder, gentler narrative of reform can obscure agendas of social control and challenge us to question the ways we replicate the status quo when pursuing change. A foreword by Michelle Alexander situates the book in the context of criminal justice reform conversations. Finally, the book offers a bolder vision for truly alternative justice practices.

“In this timely work‚ Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law offer us exciting new perspectives that reveal abolition to be the most reasonable path toward a just future.” — Angela Y. Davis, author of Are Prisons Obsolete?

 

Maya Schenwar is the editor-in-chief of Truthout. She is co-author (with Victoria Law) of Prison by Any Other Name (The New Press) as well as the author of Locked Down, Locked Out and the co-editor of the anthology Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? She lives in Chicago.

Victoria Law is a freelance journalist and the co-author (with Maya Schenwar) of Prison by Any Other Name (The New Press) as well as the author of Resistance Behind Bars and co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind. She is a co-founder of NYC Books Through Bars and lives in New York.

Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. She is a former Ford Foundation Senior Fellow and Soros Justice Fellow, has clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and has run the ACLU of Northern California’s Racial Justice Project. Alexander is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary and an opinion columnist for the New York Times. The author of The New Jim Crow and The New Jim Crow: Young Readers’ Edition (both from The New Press), she lives in Columbus, Ohio.

 

  • Item Weight: 1 lb
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1620973103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620973103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Publisher: The New Press (July 21, 2020)
  • Language: English