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“Within our society, most of us have been conditioned to expect punishment as a solution to many issues. A school with sub-par test scores? Shut it down. A homeowner who can’t pay their mortgage? Kick them out. A parent that can’t afford to feed their kids? Take the kids away and put the parent in jail. As schools continue to close, homes are foreclosed, and prison funding is increased, we can see that the priorities of the state are clearly not aligned with what we know is needed to create a healthy a safe society.” – Letter from the Editors

Welcome to Issue 16 of The Abolitionist! Much work and re-structuring has happened since Issue 15 came out in Summer 2011. We want to thank you for your patience while we went through these changes. The goals of this restructuring are to reach out to more of Critical Resistance’s allies inside and outside, bring more analysis, and to make the paper more politically sound and cohesive. One of the ways that we are doing that is by using themes to help shape the paper. Issue 16 considers the theme of Life After the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC)—something we hope strikes a chord in everyone.

We challenge you to take the breadth and connections between each piece into consideration when creating your own vision for a world without the PIC. Because we have all been impacted in different ways by the PIC and learned to survive within a capitalist framework we should also ask what new opportunities and challenges for you, your loved ones, and allies await in a world without the PIC? In addition to responding to harm and violence, how will families stay connected? How will our relationships to labor change? What will be prioritized financially so that our needs are met and our society has an opportunity to thrive rather than just survive?

We hope this issue awakens new ideas, visions, and energies in both your and the collective struggle to create the new world that we all know is possible.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators:

Morgan Bassichis, Bench, Evan Bissell, Rose Braz, Craig Calderwood, Lydia Crumbley, Jason Fritz-Michael, Felipe Hernández, Gaurav Jashnani, JustSeeds Collective, Mimi Kim, RJ Maccani, Erica Meiners, Mustapha, Jenna Peters-Golden, Prison Research Education/Action Project, Project WHAT!, Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Carlos Sabater, Gil Serrano
, Raphael Sperry, Cheyanne Torres, Mary Tremonte, Jose Villarreal, Luigi Celentano, Susana Draper, Alaina Farabaugh, Leah Furumo, Kentaro Kaneko, Alma Munoz, Lynne Purvis, Alfonso Tovar, Alia Trindle, and Benjamin Wood.

Love and struggle