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Research Guides

Law, Societies and Justice: Prisons, Police, and the Carceral State

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Abolitionist Organizations

Black and Pink
A national prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system.

Critical Resistance
A national organization that works to build a mass movement to dismantle the prison-industrial complex.

Community Justice Exchange 
Develops tactical interventions, organizing practices and tools to end all forms of criminalization, incarceration, surveillance, supervision, and detention.

Survived & Punished
A national organizing project to end the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Legal Resources

National Bail Fund Network
Community bail and bond funds across the country.

Best Practices Guide for Setting Up a Legal Defense Fund
Created by the National Lawyers Guild and National Bail Fund Network. Addresses fundraising, eligibility, legal logistics, accountability, and more. 

So You Want to Court Watch? Guide by Community Justice Exchange
For organizers thinking about court watching as a tactic within a larger campaign strategy to dismantle the criminal legal or immigration systems. 

Local Resources

Black Lives Matter Seattle - King County
Local demands are to defund the Seattle Police Department by 50%; fund community wellness; no new youth jail; and to dismantle the school to prison pipeline.

King County Equity Now
A coalition of Black-led community-based organizations in King County.

Divest and Decriminalize UW
Petition demands are to stop handing people detained by UW PD over to SPD; stop using SPD to respond to public safety needs; stop using SPD for additional security for any events, including football games, concerts, and ceremonies.

Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) or CHAZ
An occupation protest and self-declared autonomous zone without police established on June 8, 2020. The collective demands of the protest include abolition of the Seattle Police Department. While this space was dismantled by police July 1, the demands still remain.

No New Youth Jail
Since 2012, people in King County have been resisting the county’s plans to build a new youth jail located on 12th Avenue in Seattle. Construction is currently underway and county officials are still considering movement forward.

No New Women's Prison
Demands Washington stop trying to build a women's prison at Maple Lane AND commit to a moratorium on all new women's prisons across the state.

Legal resources for people in prison in Washington
Compiled by Prison Policy Initiative.

The Washington Prison History Project
Provides researchers, policy-makers, students, and others with primary sources into the history and ongoing reality of mass incarceration in Washington state and the broader Northwest.

Credit: this page was designed, curated, and constructed by Tania-Maria Rios Marrero as part of a Directed Fieldwork Project. Tania is graduate student in the UW iSchool MLIS program, an ALA Spectrum Scholar, and a community organizer with the Free Library of Philadelphia. 

Advocacy Organizations

Project NIA 
A grassroots organization that works to end incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative and transformative justice practices.

The Sentencing Project 
Produces research to promote reforms in sentencing policy, address unjust racial disparities and practices, and to advocate for alternatives to incarceration. 

Prison Policy Initiative
Produces research to expose the harm of mass criminalization and sparks advocacy campaigns. 

Toolkits, Organizing Tools and Political Education Resources

Abolition of Policing Workshop by Critical Resistance
Provides an understanding and overview of policing in the U.S.

#DefundThePolice Toolkit by Interrupting Criminalization Initiative 
From the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

A Social Media Toolkit for Organizing and Advocacy to End Mass Criminalization and Incarceration
Guidelines for using social media to share stories of injustice in order to build power.

Abolitionist Toolkit by Critical Resistance
For organizers working toward abolition and allies. 

Prison Divestment Toolkit by Enlace
Uses victories in Portland, Oregon as a case study.

Resource Guide: Prisons, Policing, and Punishment
Reading lists and more on

A resource hub for incorporating abolitionist demands into local organizing efforts around municipal, state, and federal policies. 
A resource hub about ending violence. Offers an introduction to transformative justice.

What is the Prison Industrial Complex?

Data and Digital Tools

State Data by The Sentencing Project
A compilation of state-level criminal justice data from a variety of sources. 

Data Toolbox by Prison Policy Initiative
Includes national and state-level data, population data and other curated resources. 

Research Library by Prison Policy Initiative 
A curated database of empirical criminal justice research available online.

Policing Timeline by Critical Resistance
A historical overview of policing tracing the evolution of policing in the U.S. Timeline focus is 1845 to the present.

Local Police Budgets
Searchable database by the Action Center of Race & The Economy (ACRE)

Atlas of Surveillance
Repository of information on law enforcement surveillance technology. 

Videos, Podcasts, Zines


Beyond The Prison Industrial Complex
with Ruth Wilson Gilmore.

Breaking Down the Prison Industrial Complex Video Project

Abolition in the Now: K Agbebiyi and Joshua Aiken
Hosted by Yale's Racial Capitalism and the Carceral State working group.


Thinking about how to abolish prisons with Mariame Kaba

Bringing Down the New Jim Crow: A Radio Documentary Series
Series of radio documentaries explores the continuing struggle for racial justice in the U.S. during the era of mass incarceration.

Intersectionality Matters
Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.

Beyond Prisons Podcast
A show on incarceration and prison abolition that elevates people directly impacted by the system.

People’s History Podcast - Women in Prison: How It Is With Us

This is Hell! The post-police budget 
Political scientist Alexander Kolokotronis on police abolition and participatory budgeting.

For The Wild Podcast - Jackie Wang on Carceral Capitalism



A Community Compilation on Police Abolition