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"Prisons Make Us Safer": And 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration

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Victoria Law and Andrea J. Ritchie will speak on harmful myths driving mass incarceration.

About this Event

"Prisons Make Us Safer": And 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration (April 2021) by journalist and activist Victoria Law offers a synthesis of the massive problem of prisons and policing by tracing the rise and cause of mass incarceration, myths about incarceration, misconceptions about incarcerated people, and steps to end mass incarceration on the way to abolition.

Through carefully conducted research and interviews with incarcerated people, Law identifies the 21 key myths that propel and maintain mass incarceration, including: the system is broken and we simply need some reforms to fix it; incarceration is necessary to keep our society safe; prison is an effective way to get people into drug treatment; private prison corporations drive mass incarceration; mass incarceration only affects Black cisgender men; and bringing up a history of abuse and violence is simply an “abuse excuse.”

Victoria Law will be joined in conversation by Andrea J. Ritchie.

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Streaming online. Live transcription and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please email any additional access needs to ekausch@barnard.edu.

This event is free and open to all.

About the Speakers

Victoria Law has been researching and writing about incarceration, gender, and resistance for over twenty years. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars and the coauthor of Prison By Any Other Name. She has written about prisons and other forms of confinement for outlets including the New York Times, The Nation, Wired, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She is a cofounder of Books Through Bars–NYC and the longtime editor of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings by Women in Prison. Connect with her at victorialaw.net or on Twitter @LVikkiml.

Through research, writing, legal services, and organizing, Andrea J. Ritchie has dedicated the past two decades to challenging abusive and discriminatory policing against women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of color. Ritchie was appointed a Researcher-in-Residence in BCRW’s Social Justice Institute in our inaugural year, and reappointed in 2018. Previously, Ritchie was a Soros Justice Fellow at the Open Society Foundations, where she documented policy reforms and litigation strategies that address the specific ways in which discriminatory policing impacts women of color. Connect with her at andreajrichie.com or on Twitter @dreanyc123.

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