Beyond Alternatives: Disability, Madness and Prison Abolition


May 21, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Angela Y. Davis, Beth Richie, Liat Ben-Moshe, Maya Schenwar, and Victoria Law in conversation on disability, madness, and prison abolition

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This event will be a timely conversation about disability, madness, prison reform and abolition. Speakers will confront the entanglement of punishment and treatment, the carceral state and social work, and caging and “rehabilitation.” They will engage with the Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law’s Prison by Any Other Name and Liat Ben-Moshe’s Decarcerating Disability, and the questions these books raise.

In Prison by Any Other Name, Schenwar and Law argue that: “The entwinement of the asylum and the prison is an old story. For the past two and a half centuries, the discipline and control of people diagnosed with mental illness has ridden alongside the discipline and control of criminalized people. Very often, those populations are one and the same, and controlled by the same authorities. The solution to their existence was, and often continues to be, confinement.”

In Decarcerating Disability, Ben-Moshe refers to this as “Carceral ableism. . . the praxis and belief that people with disabilities need special or extra protections, in ways that often expand and legitimate their further marginalization and incarceration.“ She shows how deinstitutionalization is often wrongly blamed for the rise in incarceration; who resists decarceration and deinstitutionalization, and the coalitions opposing such resistance; and underscores the limitations of disability rights and inclusion discourses, as well as tactics such as litigation, in securing freedom.

***Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event. This event will also be recorded.***



Prison by Any Other Name:

Decarcerating Disability:

Abolition. Feminism. Now.:


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