Premal Dharia et al., "Dismantling Mass Incarceration: A Handbook for Change" (FSG Originals, 2024)


In recent years, a searching national conversation has called attention to the social and racial injustices that define America’s criminal system. The incarceration of vast numbers of people, and the punitive treatment of African Americans in particular, are targets of widespread criticism. But despite the election of progressive prosecutors in several cities and the passage of reform legislation at the local, state, and federal levels, the system remains very much intact. How can the damage and depredations of the carceral state be undone? 

In this pathbreaking reader, three of the nation’s leading advocates —Premal Dharia, James Forman Jr., and Maria Hawilo—provide us with tools to move from despair and critique to hope and action. Dismantling Mass Incarceration: A Handbook for Change (FSG Originals, 2024) surveys new approaches to confronting the carceral state in all its guises, exploring ways that police, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, prisons, and even life after prison can be radically reconceived. The book captures debates about the comparative merits of reforming or abolishing prisons and police forces, and introduces a host of bold but practical interventions. The contributors range from noted figures such as Angela Davis, Clint Smith, and Larry Krasner to local organizers, judges, and people currently or formerly incarcerated. The result is an invaluable guide for students, activists, and anyone who wishes to understand mass incarceration—and hasten its end.

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Stephen Pimpare

Stephen Pimpare is Professor of Public Policy at Vermont Law and Graduate School.

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