Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis
Add Are Prisons Obsolete? to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis
Paperback $15.95
Aug 05, 2003 | ISBN 9781583225813

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Aug 05, 2003 | ISBN 9781583225813

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Jan 04, 2011 | ISBN 9781609801045

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“In this extraordinary book, Angela Davis challenges us to confront the human rights catastrophe in our jails and prisons. As she so convincingly argues, the contemporary U.S. practice of super-incarceration is closer to new age slavery than to any recognizable system of ‘criminal justice.” —Mike Davis, author of Dead Cities and City of Quartz

“In this brilliant, thoroughly researched book, Angela Davis swings a wrecking ball into the racist and sexist underpinnings of the American prison system. Her arguments are well wrought and restrained, leveling an unflinching critique of how and why more than 2 million Americans are presently behind bars, and the corporations who profit from their suffering.” —Rep. Cynthia McKinney [D-Georgia]

“As Angela Y. Davis has written, “prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings.” Prisons do not contain a “criminal population” running rampant but rather a population that society has repeatedly failed. Uprisings in response to the hellish conditions Black folk have been forced to live in, both in and out of prison, have been criminalized as well. In her book Are Prisons Obsolete?, Davis effectively analyzes the purpose of prisons. “These prisons represent the application of sophisticated, modern technology dedicated entirely to the task of social control,” she writes, “and they isolate, regulate, and surveil more effectively than anything that has preceded them.” An institution based on social control instead of social well-being is an institution that needs to be abolished.” —Colin Kaepernick, from Abolition for the People: The Movement for a Future Without Police & Prisons

Table Of Contents


Introduction—Prison Reform or Prison Abolition? 

Slavery, Civil Rights, and Abolitionist
Perspectives Toward Prison 

Imprisonment and Reform 

How Gender Structures the Prison System 

The Prison Industrial Complex 

Abolitionist Alternatives


About the Author

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Back to Top