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: 2021-2022

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 35

  • Printed July 2021
  • Features focus on Defunding Policing
  • Read a sneak peek of the issue here!

Issue 36

  • Coming out by December 2021
  • Features focus on “Pathways toward Freedom,” covering different strategies for getting our people out of cages

Issue 37

  • Coming out in the first half of 2022 (the first issue on our new bi-annual frequency
  • Features focus on the housing movement and shelter


Hot off the Press: Issue 35 on Defunding Policing!

Issue 35, with features on defunding policing, went to print in July 2021 and mailed out to over 5,000 subscribers. Read a sneak peek of the issue here.

If you like what you see, sign up for a paid subscription to sponsor free subscriptions for prisoners and receive a copy of each issue hot off the press.

Issue 35 will be made available digitally for free on our website in November 2021.