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Angela Y. Davis and the prison abolition movement, Part II

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Despite America's growing concern with the problem of crime, major upheavals of the criminal justice system are rarely discussed. The prison abolition movement is one such upheaval which, although supported by empirical research, is largely grassroots and often ignored. Angela Y. Davis, however, has carried the torch for this movement for decades and accepted the challenge of convincing a nation that prison abolition is a real alternative. As an author and speaker for this movement, her work has added legitimacy to the prison abolition discourse. Her use of philosophy challenges our assumptions about punishment and crime, and is reflective of both the past and future of criminology. From her involvement in one of the most famous trials of the century, to her work as co-founder of Critical Resistance, Angela Y. Davis has lived a life worthy of notice and study by criminologists.

Keywords: Angela Davis; Critical Resistance; convict lease system; criminologist; critical theory; prison abolition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Assistant Professor and Criminal Justice Program Director, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis, MO

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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