DeeDee Halleck on Mon, 20 Jul 1998 16:42:34 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> The Prison Activist List and other Net Projects

Info about the Prison Activist List and other Internet Projects

We are preparing a big thing this september with a streaming audio if not
also video of the big conference on prisons which is organized by Angela
Davis. We will also have a live teleconference from the San Francisco
jail. (DeeDee)


Basic Information about Critical Resistance 
Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex 
A National Conference and Strategy Session 
September 25-27, 1998
University of California at Berkeley

Almost two million people are currently locked up in U.S. prisons and
jails, the majority of whom are people of color. Since 1980 the population
of prisoners has tripled and it is expected to double again by 2005. While
imprisoned populations are overwhelmingly male, the number of women 
prisoners is increasing at an even greater rate than men. Between 1990 and
1995, 213 new federal and state prison facilities were constructed, 
representing a 41 percent increase in prison capacity. 

The growing reliance on imprisonment as a solution to systemic social 
problems, combined with mounting corporate interests in an expanding
punishment industry, has led to the emergence of a late-twentieth century
prison industrial complex. As politicians, the mass media, and 
conservative organizations represent crime as the most serious problem of 
our time, even though crime rates have been relatively stable since the
1970s, the public responds with fear and with acquiescence to the
exponential expansion of the penal system. This prison industrial complex,
which includes private and super maximum prisons, not only violates the
civil and human rights of incarcerated men and women, but poses grave
threats to the very future of democracy in our country and throughout the

We call upon activists, advocates, scholars, policy makers and former 
prisoners to join us in a national conference and strategy session,
Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex, which will take
place at the University of California, Berkeley, September 25 - 27, 1998. 

     For more information:

     Critical Resistance
     PO Box 339
     Berkeley CA 94701
     phone: (510) 643-2094     fax: (510) 845-8816 


Maximum Security Democracy:
a poster series from the resistant strains working group

Although the title Maximum Security Democracy is somewhat overarching,
this project began with a fairly specific intent: to focus on the US
prison industry and to highlight some of the struggles of those opposing
it with a series of artists' posters designed for a variety of uses. The
series serves to foreground some of the issues central to the construction
of crime and punishment at a time when these issues are deliberately
dismissed in the frenzied expansion of the criminal justice system. The
poste rs also elaborate a definition of maximum security democracy, a
structure of systems which maintain elaborate security (physical,
financial, political, etc.) for some through the repression, both direct
and subtle, of others.

While there are obvious shortcomings and omissions in the series (i.e., no
work from prisoner artists, no work about control units, medical neglect,
HIV, corrections officers violence, visitation rights, the death penalty,
alternatives to incarceration, treating youths as adults, and so on), we
plan to continue with this work in different formats, expanding the range
of concerns to further explore the prison-industrial complex and, more
importantly, to focus on the work of people fighting it. Part of our
intent is to produce materials that are useful to activists, and also in
some way about resistance. As we continue, then, we encourage more
activists to become involved in the preliminary discussions and in
directly collaborating with artists. This involvement will contribute to
decisions about both form and content, making our projects more effective
in political context.

But at the same time, these works are not for activists only. We are
interested in producing critical, political art that is accessible to
anyone, and that examines issues without resorting to oversimplification.
We want to put out works that are sharp and funny and engaging and
politically challenging, and avoid those which once again combine a slogan
with an image from the lefty stockpile (the clenched fist, the dove, the
stripes of a flag turned into prison bars, people at a rally, etc.). These
posters, the third project of resistant strains, are another step in this
direction. We hope the images and words, if not explicitly about
resistances to maximum security democracy, encourage, support, and
contribute to these resistances. 

-- D. Thorne for resistant strains 


Political Pamphlets Available from PARC

These are the titles available online: 

-The Social Functions of the Prisons in the United States: Bettina
Aptheker: If They Come in the Morning (edited by Angela Davis) 12/71
-The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy by Linda Evans
and Eve Goldberg 
-The Labor of Doing Time, by Julie Browne. (prison labor and chain
-Gardens of the Law: the Role of Prisons in Capitalist Society, by
Joel Olson. 
-The New Plantation, by political prisoner Bill Dunne. 
-UPDATE: California's expanding prison-industrial complex, by PARC. 
-Changing the Rules: Prison Officials and Legislators Mount an All-Out
War Against Prisoners' Right to Legal Access, by PARC. 

An example from the list:

>From  Sun Jul 19 22:14:21 1998
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 23:02:46 -0500
From: Beverly George <>
To: (PATRICK Mailing List)
Organization: Prison Activist Resource Center


(Positive Living Advocacy Network)		
P.O. Box 916
Magnolia, Texas 77353-0916
281-356-1579 phone & fax
281-473-6501 voice mail 

        PRISON REFORM  			 
           HUMAN RIGHTS
             CHILDREN'S RIGHTS
               MENTAL HEALTH

+-+ sent by the Prison Activist List <> +-+
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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. 


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