State Sanctioned

A clearinghouse for information, analysis, and resources related to state sanctioned violence in the United States

Activism

My background is in anti-violence movements and prison abolitionism.  For me, what brings these diverse movements together is the notion of “transformative justice,” a set of practices that emphasizes individual healing and accountability for violence within a larger context of community action that addresses the root cause of violence.  A key tenet of transformative justice is that systems of violence and inequality – such as police, prisons, and warfare – cannot achieve justice in the short- or long term.  Alternative systems (formal and informal) are needed to address interpersonal violence, and powerful mass movements are needed to address systemic violence.

This page highlights people & organizations committed to transformative justice and related social justice movements, as well as relevant news and commentary.  I hope it can serve as a concrete resource, but also as an inspiration, to those of you working against violence in your own networks or communities.

See also the Current Events page, which includes news of local activism in towns and cities across the country, and the page on Black Lives Matter.

Jump down to: News  —  OrganizationsResourcesPeople

News and Commentary  (reverse chronological order)

Activists Ticket White Residents to Highlight How Police Target People of Color, Colorlines, October 21st, 2015

The History of Black August, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, August 1st, 2015 (archived)

Ruining Lives with Criminal ‘Justice,’ New York Times, July 30th, 2015

Not Oz, Not Orange, Not Shawshank Either: the Real History of Black Radicalism and the Prison Abolitionist Movement, Jared Ball Interviews Dan Berger, The Real News, July 6th, 2015

Here’s a Way to Feel Less Guilty About Your ‘Orange is the New Black Binge,’ Huffington Post, June 25th, 2015

How Can Restorative Justice Change the Criminal System? Jennifer Polish for Law Street, June 17th, 2015

Human Rights Watch Film Festival Explores Social Justice, by Stephen Holden. The New York Times. June 10th, 2015.

This Cop Used Empathy Instead of Force, and it Worked, by Eric Johnson. Huffington Post. May 21st, 2015.

Against Policing, by Judith Levine. Seven Days: Vermont’s Independent Voice. May 20th, 2015.

Students Push Community to Heighten Involvement, by Simon Schatzberg. The Knox Student. May 6th, 2015.

Two Very Different Ways to Punish Killer Cops by Alex Vitale for The Nation, May 5th, 2015

Mia Mingus Reflects on Care, Burnout, and Movement Sustainability, Feministing,April 24th, 2015

Walidah Imarisha & adrienne maree brown discuss science fiction and revolutionary social imagination with Laura Flanders. GRI-TV (via YouTube). April 21st, 2015.

Everyday Abolition: We Are Responsible for the Prison Industrial Complex, by Justin Adkins for the Huffington Post, March 30th, 2015. Plus Part Two: Working Towards Non-Punitive Accountability

Transformative Justice Law Project Holds Open House by Gretchen Hammond, Windy City Times, March 11th, 2015

Speaker focuses on transformative justice as solution to violence, Stephanie Brezezinski for the Grand Valley Lanthorn, February 25th, 2015

There’s No Such Thing as Prison Reform: An Interview with CeCe McDonald, by Andrea Abi-Karam, January 13th, 2015

The Fog of Peace: Post-Conflict Environments as Sites of Impunity, Denial, and Dispossession, Alternet, December 18th, 2014

Policing is a Dirty Job, but Nobody’s Gotta Do it: Six Ideas for a Cop-Free World, by Jose Martin in Rolling Stone, December 16th, 2014

Chipping Away at the System: Maya Schenwar on Alternatives to Our Justice System, George Lavendar for In These Times, November 28th, 2014

From Moment to Movement: Learning from Ferguson October, Movement Strategy Center blog, October 15th, 2014

Seeking Transformative Justice in Ferguson and Beyond, by Sheila Bedi. Huffington Post. September 3rd, 2014.

Prison Abolition is a Moral Imperative, and Practical, Hernando Today, August 1st, 2013

An Interview with Mia Mingus on Transformative Justice, by Bonnie Chan, May 27th, 2013

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Organizations

Adler University Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice

Artists Against Police Violence – website, instagram, and tumblr

Black and Pink – LGBT Prisoner Advocacy and Abolition

Black Lives Matter Movement

Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV)

Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA)

Communities United for Police Reform

Community United Against Violence (CUAV)

Creative Interventions – Community-based solutions to violence

Critical Resistance – Prison Abolition

Dignity and Power Now – rights and dignity for incarcerated people and their families (archived page)

Generation FIVE – Ending child sexual abuse in five generations

Hands Up United – transforming police; emerged out of Ferguson ’14

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence

The Lewisburg Prison Project

National Black Women’s Justice Initiative

Network for the Elimination of Police Violence

Philly Stands Up – Non-punitive accountability

Prison Culture – blog with critical analysis of U.S. prison-industrial complex

Prison Legal News

Project NIA – ending youth incarceration – see also Project NIA’s blog

Repair – research, education, and community-level advocacy regarding health challenges, health disparities and disabilities that result from social problems

Seeding Change – a center for Asian-American movement building

Streetwise and Safe – NYC-based group for LGBTQQ youth, ins/outs, dos/don’ts of encounters with the police

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Resources

Books about restorative justice – from Project NIA

Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing, from the Center for Popular Democracy, April 2015

Poems About Police Violence – Chicago Prison-Industrial Complex Teaching Collective

A Primer and Exploration of Restorative Justice Practices – Adler University school of public policy

Project NIA Resources Page – resources for ending youth incarceration

Restorative and Transformative Justice Resources – from the University of San Francisco

Transformative Justice and/as Harm – ‘zine from blogger Still My Revolution (opens PDF); screen reader version available online from Still My Revolution

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People

Dan Berger – University of Washington, Bothell

Mimi Kim – CSU Long Beach School of Social Work

Judith Levine – Author & Columnist

Austin McCoy – University of Michigan

Mia Mingus – Community Organizer & Writer

Maya Schenwar – Author

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