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“The prison industrial complex is a maze of laws and rules and regulations and policies and procedures. For most of us, navigating the systems of policing, surveillance, imprisonment, detention, and death that help keep the prison industrial complex in place and make it strong is difficult. We look for explanations, answers, and strategies to make sense of its entangling web.” – Letter from the Editors

This edition of The Abolitionist is dedicated to the late John Bowman who is memorialized in these pages. He was a teacher and inspiration to many of us, and his influence continues even now that he’s gone. As the struggle to free the San Francisco 8 continues, John is continually in our thoughts and his memory pushes us forward.

In the pages of this issue of The Abolitionist the authors provide some windows into the maze that is the prison industrial complex. They suggest explanations and explorations that help us peel away some of the layers of the system and look more deeply inside. While even collectively these pieces don’t suggest some concrete roadmap for change, they do move us steps closer to understanding the situation we’re in. They also echo strongly the need to stay focused on the elimination of this system designed to confuse, frustrate, and hurt us. As always, we hope this paper awakens your freedom spirit.

Many thanks to all our contributors and translators!

Love and struggle