As both a grassroots organization based in multiple local chapters in different cities and a national organization, Critical Resistance has built an expansive network of abolitionists from coast to coast in the US. Throughout the years, we have organized nationally and internationally with global connections through our conferences, networks, and also some of CR’s national workgroups.


Historically, Critical Resistance’s primary national organizing strategy was conferencing, as CR organized four very successful national conferences in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with international reach.

Read about CR’s conference organizing here.

Now, Critical Resistance primarily builds with organizers across the US by attending other conferences and often developing conference tracks focusing on the prison industrial complex and abolition with our movement partners.

National and international conferences we regularly attend include:

  • AMC: Allied Media Conference
  • ICOPA: International Conference on Penal Abolition
  • American Studies Association


Over the years, Critical Resistance has organized informal and formal networks of prison industrial complex (PIC) abolitionist organizers and organizations. Some networks have been regional in focus, while others have sector-based.

Currently, CR leads two networks:

  • The Abolition NOW Network, made up of 12 different anti-prison and anti-policing organizations spread across the US
  • The K-12 Abolitionist Educators Network, of K-12 and community-based educators working for abolition through radical education. In partnership with the Education for Liberation Network.

CR’s National Workgroups

The National Workgroups of the organization work to bring Critical Resistance members across chapters and geographies to share strategies, organizing tools and resources for PIC abolition. Some of CR’s National Workgroups have an internal focus to the organization, while others lead work external to the organization.

Currently, CR runs four national workgroups that are focused on work external to the organization, including:

  • The Abolitionist Editorial Collective
  • Abolitionist Training School & CR’s Abolition Now Network Workgroup
  • a Campaign & Leadership Development Workgroup, formerly CR’s National Anti-Policing workgroup
  • Abolitionist Educators Workgroup