Resisting Prison Expansion and “Therapeutic” Jails (aired on Montez Press Radio)

Art Against Displacement · Resisting Prison Expansion and “Therapeutic” Jails (AAD on Montez Press Radio)

Tune in to hear the recent story of the No New Women’s Jail campaign that successfully blocked a “feminist” gender-based jail from moving forward in NYC. Across the country, many forms of incarceration and policing are now rebranding using the language of mental health services, trauma-informed centers, and institutes for justice and healing… Vanessa interviews Mon and Caren who talk about what a “reformist reform” looks like, and how they navigate an abolitionist approach to improving conditions inside jails. They explain the concept of Carceral Humanism and the caveats of Alternatives to Incarceration (ATIs) that actually expand the state’s capacity to criminalize and lock people up. The speakers give some practical tips on pressure campaigns and relational organizing. The conversation also touches on the Chinatown jail struggle as part of the orgoing efforts to close Rikers and shut down the Borough-Based Jail plans in NYC. Our last segment with the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison in Kemptville, Ontario can be found here.

Mon: Mon M (she/her) is an Indian organizer based in Lenapehoking organizing around jails, gender justice, and criminalization.

Caren: Caren (she/they) is an abolitionist organizer, educator and facilitator based in Lenapehoking. She is building power with people inside prisons to survive incarceration and to build a world without cages.

For further information about topics discussed, check out these links:

– Tacoma Weekly, County looks to grow therapeutic courts, Feb 22, 2023

– Kera News, Mental health needs are exploding in Dallas, but new jail diversion center underutilized, Feb 16, 2023

– CBS Colorado, Larimer County prioritizes mental health with new $80 million jail expansion, Dec 15, 2022

– Voice of OC, OC Mental Health Jail Expansion Draws Pushback and Debate, Oct 23, 2019

– Farnsworth Group, Mental Health Services Drive Jail Expansion