Critical Resistance (CR) & its Editorial Collective for The Abolitionist Newspaper are working to pull together a pool of volunteers to support The Abolitionist Editorial Collective with transcriptions for our newspaper issues.


Since people who are locked up in jails, detention centers, and prisons often don’t have access to the digital and audio media that people outside of cages do, and instead rely much more heavily on print media than people on the outside these days for movement news and analysis, transcriptions are an essential part of CR’s The Abolitionist, a cross-wall bilingual newspaper that has been sent to thousands of imprisoned people for free for the past 20 years. When CR’s editorial collective does interviews with organizers for articles, for instance, or when we use the recording of an event or action and turn it into an article, we need solid transcriptions to work with in order to bring this information inside cages to imprisoned people through the newspaper.


Since transcribing is so labor intensive, and because CR’s copy editor and translation volunteers have been so effective and efficient thanks to hundreds of volunteers over the years, we’re hoping to generate some more labor power through more volunteers who regularly support this transcription work in our editorial process for each publishing cycle. 


The process for the transcription pool will be something like:

  • Interested transcribers will be added to a listserv set up to facilitate the editorial collective’s transcription asks. We will provide a set of guidelines for transcription steps and formatting requirements to use for each transcription
    • Each transcriber will be onboarded by the Project Coordinator of The Abolitionist: Onboarding consists of answering some questions over email, completing a typing or transcription quiz, and discussing our Transcription Guidelines before being added to the listserv.
  • When the editorial collective has a need for transcription support, which takes place during Phase 1 of our editorial process in which we’re generating the content (that’s roughly February-March for the first issue of each year and again August-September for the second issue), we’ll put an ask out onto the transcription listserv a few weeks in advance with the details and timeframe we need the transcription by. 


  • Transcriptions will need to be done within one week of transcribers receiving the materials to transcribe, if not faster.


  • Once the transcription is complete, transcribers will share their transcriptions back with CR’s The Abolitionist Project Coordinator to pass along through the collective’s editing process.


  • CR & the editorial collective will accredit transcribers and thank them for their labor by adding each transcriber as a contributor of the issue, and sending a complimentary copy of the issue to each transcriber.


Interested in volunteering with CR as a transcriber?

Complete these simple steps and we’ll get in touch with you as quickly as possible:


  • and email The Abolitionist Newspaper Project Coordinator ( sharing your interest and your typing test results (we’re curious about your accuracy & how many words you type per minute, roughly)


  • Please note: if you choose the sample transcription test provided, please send us a screenshot of your test if possible.


This is an open call for volunteers, so we’ll work with anyone who’s interested and would like to provide volunteer transcription support for our newspaper. While beginning transcribers are welcome, and our editorial collective will provide the editing, we need accurate transcriptions to work with that are submitted to us on time. Tight follow through and accountable turn-around is needed most from all transcribers who work with us. Once we receive your email and test results, we’ll onboard you into our volunteer pool of transcribers.

Thank you!

In solidarity,

-Critical Resistance & The Abolitionist Editorial Collective