By Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
A response to the debate on abolition in Jacobin Magazine.
The weekend of August 19 2017, amid the second nationwide inside/outside mass protest against prison slavery in as many years, Jacobin Magazine published an article against prison abolition entitled How to End Mass Incarceration by Roger Lancaster. Lancaster argued that returning to an ideal of puritan discipline and rehabilitation is more realistic than pursuing the abolition of prison entirely.
“Sin Barras is a group formed in 2012 in Santa Cruz, CA comprised of individuals dedicated to prison abolition. We challenge traditional understandings of criminality and assert that oppressive forces use criminal justice systems as a tool to produce and reproduce social inequality. We advocate for meaningful alternatives to incarceration, amplify voices from inside jails and prisons, and we connect ourselves to local, statewide, national, and international struggles against prisons.” https://sinbarras.org/
There are multiple ways you can participate in Sin Barras, including but not limited to:
- Outreach Working Group: Planning events and educational materials
- Local Jail Issues Working Group: Supporting people inside, developing an independent medical feedback process, jail support
- Sin Barras Study Group: A reading and discussion group dedicated to better understanding prison abolition and alternatives to mass incarceration. Meets the second friday of every month from 7-9pm.
Email email@example.com if you have any questions about when the work group meets or what books/articles we’re currently reading for the study group.
Sin Barras will be hosting Critical Resistance of Oakland for a 2 hour workshop titled “Abolition of Policing.”
Recent years have laid bare the violence of the police — but what empowers the system of policing and how can communities create safety without it? This workshop will explain how policing is an integral part of the prison industrial complex, and how we organize towards its abolition.
When: Saturday, June 10th from 1-3 PM
Where: Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos 1817 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
International Workers’ Day has been a time to uplift the struggles, honor the sacrifices, and celebrate the triumphs of working people across the world. As we stand on Ohlone Indigenous land this May 1st, we march in celebration and in resistance, and in solidarity with working people across all borders, to continue the historic struggle against economic and social inequity. With a Trump administration in power, a rising fascist tendency, and growing economic and political oppression of people everywhere, this May Day we march in the spirit of organizing and defending our communities from state violence and capitalist exploitation, and toward liberation and self-determination.
More information on: Indybay and Facebook
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On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Sin Barras organizers went to the Board of Supervisors meeting to comment publicly on the contract renewal with for-profit correctional medical service provider California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG). We achieved several successes, including:
- The Board of Supervisors supports the need to receive feedback from people in jail about medical services
- The Sheriff is interested in working with us to get feedback from people in jail
- CFMG personnel showed interest in speaking to us about improving their operations
- Other community members at the Board meeting for other reasons expressed their support
- An article about our appearance was published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel
Bottomline: We are against having a private contractor like CFMG provide medical services at the jail; however, we cannot let another person die in jail of neglect, or allow needless suffering to continue to happen because of inadequate care. If we have to work with CFMG and the Sheriff to make sure of this, then we will.