A multimedia effort to document the history of prisoner activism and policy in our state. The site features a robust collection of prisoner-produced newspapers from the late 20th century; oral histories and testimonials about the Washington state prison system; research on local histories of punishment; and a text-adventure computer game designed inside a maximum security prison.
Throughout its history, Washington state has been a national leader in both punitive policy and prison reform. By highlighting the stories of currently and formerly incarcerated people, the project provides a fuller understanding of what prison means and how it has changed over time.
Through a series of talks and events, the University of Washington Bothell Labor Colloquium explores the economic fault lines for working class people and the intersection of class and crisis.
The UWB Labor Studies Colloquium is a campus initiative to study work, workers, and social change in the 21st century. We host guest speakers, link students and curriculum across disciplines, and foster partnerships with community organizations. Our forum approaches the changing contexts of labor with breadth, depth, and curiosity.
Public events feature a talk by a visiting scholar and/or artist and discussion. Our interest areas include topics such as the carceral and unresponsive state, alternate and solidarity economies and community storytelling.
Even in prison, rebellions are contagious. In 2016, a national prison strike led to the compilation of the Prison Abolition Syllabus as a way to bring together some of the urgent and informed writings on the history of prisons and prison rebellion. Several developments prompted an update to the syllabus in 2018: most importantly, a new national prison strike began on #August21. Incarcerated people chose the anniversary of the death of legendary prisoner author and revolutionary George Jackson to launch their strike. The strike will go until September 9, the anniversary of when the Attica rebellion began. The 2018 strike demands blend specific policy changes (such as repealing the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Truth in Sentencing Act, and the Sentencing Reform Act) with broad transformations (including “an end to prison slavery” and “immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.) The demands have provided a broad umbrella allowing prisoners to respond to local grievances.
Observing this landscape, the 2018 prison strike aims to not only win demands but build capacity of incarcerated people to resist and survive. Prison Abolition Syllabus 2.0 is a resource for those already doing this work and those looking to learn more. The hope is it will help deepen understandings, renew commitments, and carry the goal of prison abolition forward from the 2018 strike.
On March 24, 1800, Forlorn Hope became the first newspaper published within a prison by an incarcerated person. In the intervening 200 years, over 450 prison newspapers have been published from U.S. prisons. Some, like the Angolite and the San Quentin News, are still being published today. American Prison Newspapers brings together hundreds of these periodicals from across the country into one collection that will represent penal institutions of all kinds, with special attention paid to women’s-only institutions.