The Abolitionist, launched in the spring of 2005 by CR’s Oakland chapter, is a bilingual (English/Spanish) publication dedicated to the strategy and struggle of prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. The Abolitionist is sent to thousands of people imprisoned in jails, prisons and detention centers in the US and in some countries internationally. It is free to prisoners and is supported by paid subscribers on the outside. Each paid subscription by a non-imprisoned person sponsors a free subscription for at least one prisoner.

The Abolitionist working group is a member-based editorial collective within Critical Resistance that operates by consensus. The paper is an important forum for prisoner voices and a valuable source of news and analysis on the issues that affect prisoners and state-targeted communities across the country. This is a major organizing tool with and for people who are locked up. Topics covered range from re-entry to the criminalization of immigrants to prisoner health care to internationalism to alternative visions, practices and models for a safer, more humane world.

A Vital Tool for Inside-Outside Organizing and Radical Political Education

Listen to imprisoned columnist Stephen Wilson explain the importance of the paper to people locked up and his plan for his column, “9971,” focused on study for abolition.

Project News & Updates: 2022-2023

Critical Resistance members worked hard all of 2020 to revitalize The Abolitionist newspaper project. Restructuring the paper itself as well as our editorial and publishing processes, CR’s The Abolitionist Editorial Collective will publish three timely and comprehensive issues from summer 2020-2021, and focus on improving our distribution and circulation of the paper both inside and outside of prison. In 2022, the editorial collective is changing the frequency of the issues and committing to printing two issues per year instead of three, in order to grow more capacity to prioritize circulation and engagement with each printed issue.

Issue 37

  • Printed June 2022
  • Features housing justice & prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition
  • Sneak peek of the issue here

Download full issue here.

Issue 38

Free download of full issue available May 2023.

Subscribe to receive your own copy now!

Issue 39

Coming soon!

  • Printing June 2023
  • Features reproductive justice & PIC abolition

Issue 40

Final issue of 2023

  • Printing December 2023
  • Features focus on control units

Issue 38


Latest Issue, #38: Labor Struggles & Prison Industrial Complex Abolition

Issue 38, with features on different angles of labor struggles and prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition went to print in December 2022 and was mailed out to over 5,500 subscribers. This was the final issue of 2022. Packed full of timely and useful analysis, reflection and resources for organizing inside and outside of cages, Issue 38 examines a range of labor related topics from union organizing, to decriminalizing sex work, recent general strikes in Ecuador and Colombia, challenging the 13th Amendment and prison labor, the rise of “criminal” background screening, job search myth busting and tips for imprisoned and formerly imprisoned people looking for work, and more.

See what’s inside the issue here and read the “sneak peek” articles. 

If you like what you see and want to support the project, sign up for a paid subscription to sponsor free subscriptions for prisoners . If you have a loved one currently incarcerated in jail, prison or detention, you can sign them up for a free subscription here.

Issue 38 will be made available digitally for free on our website in May 2023.