As a growing abolitionist, it’s massively important for me to know exactly what I believe and why. Every conversation I have with a supporter of incarceration or reformist or not-yet abolitionist begins and ends with the question: “what would you do with all of the murderers and rapists?”—a question that’s both valid and much too broad. This inquiry is usually asked in good faith, however, abolition is not just about eliminating prison or jail complexes, but rather dismantling the entire systems of society, punishment, capitalism, colonization, racism, and militarism, all of which do not fit into a simple one sentence answer. For this reason, I lean heavily on many of my favorite criminal justice media resources that appear in both the traditional print/online forms and via podcast. The criminal justice media tools I use force me to confront my own internalized opinions and biases that I need to decolonize and demolish if I am to become a smarter and more empathetic abolitionist. Of course, these aren’t the only criminal justice media resources I use on a regular basis, but they are some of my favorites.
The Appeal— Maybe it’s because the badass attorney/writer/researcher Josie Duffy Rice is the news site’s President, but I actively look forward to their daily newsletters every morning. Fair, eye-opening, and critical to the world of criminal justice news, The Appeal is doing everything right and I can’t get enough.
Twitter— It may seem stupid to throw a whole social media platform to this list, but Twitter, or rather the people I’ve connected with and befriended have truly impacted the way I see prisons, jails, and cops. It helps that (almost every) journalist and their work is fairly easy to access on that devil platform.
Justice in America Podcast— Another Josie Duffy Rice rave!!! Season three of the podcast is released tomorrow where Josie and a new co-host discuss aspects of the criminal justice system I didn’t even know existed. It’s groundbreaking for anyone who is looking for all of the criminal justice basics without any of the pretentiousness.
Transform Harm— Mariame Kaba’s online portal is one of the most important resource locations for abolitionists. The articles give concrete examples and answers for even those who just want to focus on the “murderers and rapists”.
Juvenile Injustice— I don’t know how anyone could scroll through this Instagram account and still believe that children should be incarcerated, no matter what they’ve done. Each picture and short personal anecdote hurts me every morning and night.
Pamela Colloff anything— One of the premiere writers focusing on criminal legal injustices, Pamela Colloff’s portfolio on ProPublica is remarkable. Her articles have won countless awards and have even gotten men out of prison, making her hands down one of my favorite writers.