82 episodes

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on justice, mass incarceration, and prison abolition. Hosted by @phillyprof03 & @bsonenstein

Beyond Prisons Beyond Prisons

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    • 4.9 • 227 Ratings

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on justice, mass incarceration, and prison abolition. Hosted by @phillyprof03 & @bsonenstein

    CI Toolkit: Perspectives On Interventions feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan

    CI Toolkit: Perspectives On Interventions feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan

    This is the third episode in our Creative Interventions series, where we explore this fantastic and practical toolkit for stopping interpersonal violence and speak with some of the people whose organizing efforts directly informed it.
    We speak with Mimi Kim and Shira Hassan once again, this time with reflections, observations, and other notes for people who are considering interventions. If you’ve got the toolkit at home, which you can purchase from AK press or access for free at creative-interventions.org, we’re touching on some of the topics in Section 2.3, which is entitled, “Violence Intervention: Some Important Lessons” and begins on page 93 of the toolkit. There’s a lot more in this section than what we get to in the episode, so we highly suggest checking it out.
    In this conversation, Shira and Mimi answer some broad questions about common challenges with interventions. What can happen when people are asked to take accountability? What are the pro’s and con’s of an intervention involving people you know or may be close to? How long should an intervention last, or should it be ongoing? And a lot more.
    The release of this episode coincides with the publication of a new workbook companion for the CI Toolkit which features useful and practical worksheets and tools. The CI workbook was just released through AK Press. A google doc version of the workbook which you can use to adapt to your own situation of harm is available for free at creative-interventions.org.
    You can find links to further resources in the episode notes, including Shira’s amazing new anthology, Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction, which is now available from Haymarket Books. We highly recommend you check that out and support Shira's work however you can.  
    Shira Hassan has trained and spoken nationally on the sex trade, harm reduction, self-injury, healing justice and transformative justice. Currently working as a fellow at Interrupting Criminalization, Shira runs The Help Desk . The Help Desk offers supportive thought partnership to individuals and groups working to interrupt crises and violence without using the police. Along with Mariame Kaba, she is the co-author of Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators and the author of Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction.
    Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Her recent publications include 2020’s “The Carceral Creep” and 2018’s “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice”. She is currently working on The CHAT Project, a non-law enforcement restorative justice project addressing domestic and sexual violence in Contra Costa County, California.
    Mimi and Shira are also partnering on a re-boot of the StoryTelling & Organizing Project or STOP featuring stories of everyday people creatively and collectively ending violence. Stay tuned.
    Alright, that’s it for now. You can find links to the CI website and toolkit as well as other resources in the episode notes. Thanks for listening and here’s our conversation.
    Episode Resources & Notes Shira Hassan: 
    Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction.
    Interrupting Criminalization - The Help Desk
    Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators
     
    Mimi Kim:
    Creative Interventions Website
    Creative Interventions Toolkit (Physical copy)
    Creative Interventions Toolkit (Free PDF)
    Crea

    • 59 min
    Close California Prisons feat. Brian Kaneda & Woods Ervin

    Close California Prisons feat. Brian Kaneda & Woods Ervin

    Brian Kaneda and Woods Ervin join the show to tell us about the Close California Prisons Campaign.
    This campaign is led by the statewide coalition known as Californians United For A Responsible Budget (CURB), pressuring Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Correction to close prisons across the state. 
    Last year, CURB released The People’s Plan for Prison Closures, which they describe as “a visionary report that outlines the failures of California’s bloated carceral system, and offers bold, community-centered solutions for our jail problem.”
    After setting the stage and explaining a bit about the current state of incarceration in California, Brian and Woods tell us about the campaign's goal to close 10 prisons by 2025 and release 50,000 people or 50% of the population—demands which they say represent the floor. We discuss the criteria the campaign developed for selecting which 10 prisons to close first, the work of their partners in the coalition, the lack of a plan put forth by state authorities, the plan’s reliance on a Just Transition framework, and a lot more.
    This episode was recorded before news broke in early September that a judge ruled against the town of Susanville in a lawsuit attempting to stop the closure of the California Correctional Center or CCC. According to a press release [PDF] published by CURB, the judge’s ruling marked “the end of the town’s year-long fight to keep CCC––a six-decade-old facility requiring $503 million in repairs––open indefinitely.”
    Brian Kaneda is the Deputy Director for Californians United For A Responsible Budget (CURB). He is a founding chapter member of California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) Los Angeles and has spent the past decade monitoring and challenging the incarceration crisis and advocating for the rights of incarcerated people. 
    Woods Ervin (they/them) is a Black nonbinary trans person from the South who has been deeply immersed in movements for racial and gender justice for over a decade. Woods has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2010, and from 2014 to 2018 was part of rebuilding Transgender, Gender-variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Through both organizations, Woods organized as part of multiple campaigns to halt jail construction and policing. Woods is a current Co-Director at Critical Resistance focusing on Communications. 
    Episode Resources & Notes Follow CURB on Twitter (@curbprisons) and instagram (@curbprisons)
    CURB’s Prison Closure Campaign
    The People’s Plan for Prison Closures (PDF)
    Release: Judge Rules Prison Closure Must Move Forward (PDF)
    Petition: Demand Governor Newsom Close at least 8 More Prisons by 2025!
    CA Organizations: Join the coalition
    Donate to CURB
    Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Edited by Ellis Maxwell
    Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam
    Theme music by Jared Ware
    Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more
    Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com
    Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information
    Twitter: @Beyond_Prison
    Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast
    Instagram:@beyondprisons

    • 50 min
    CI Toolkit: What Does Interpersonal Violence Look Like? feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan

    CI Toolkit: What Does Interpersonal Violence Look Like? feat. Mimi Kim & Shira Hassan

    This is the second episode in our Creative Interventions series, where we explore this fantastic and practical toolkit for stopping interpersonal violence and speak with some of the people whose organizing efforts directly informed it.
    We speak with Mimi and Shira Hassan about the basics of interpersonal violence as outlined in the Creative Interventions Toolkit. If you’ve got the toolkit at home, which you can purchase from AK press or access for free at creative-interventions.org, we’re touching on some of the topics in Section 2: Some Basics Everyone Should Know. There’s a lot more in this section than what we get to in the episode, so we highly suggest checking it out.
    After Shira tells us a bit about her work including a follow-up workbook she and Mariame Kaba created to build upon the Creative Interventions Toolkit, she and Mimi share what the term "interpersonal violence" means to them, and what it can look like. They explain why it’s important to assess power dynamics when determining if an intervention should be attempted, and how we can recognize how interpersonal violence impacts people other than those most involved. 
    The release of this episode coincides with the publication of a new workbook companion for the CI Toolkit which features useful and practical worksheets and tools. The CI workbook was just released through AK Press. A google doc version of the workbook which you can use to adapt to your own situation of harm is available for free at creative-interventions.org,
    You can find links to further resources in the episode notes, including Shira’s amazing new anthology, Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction, which is available for pre-order now and comes out on October 4 from Haymarket Books. We highly recommend you check that out and support Shira's work however you can. 
    Shira Hassan has trained and spoken nationally on the sex trade, harm reduction, self-injury, healing justice and transformative justice. Currently working as a fellow at Interrupting Criminalization, Shira runs The Help Desk . The Help Desk offers supportive thought partnership to individuals and groups working to interrupt crises and violence without using the police. Along with Mariame Kaba, she is the co-author of Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators and the author of Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction.
    Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Her recent publications include 2020’s “The Carceral Creep” and 2018’s “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice”. She is currently working on The CHAT Project, a non-law enforcement restorative justice project addressing domestic and sexual violence in Contra Costa County, California.
    Mimi and Shira are also partnering on a re-boot of the StoryTelling & Organizing Project or STOP featuring stories of everyday people creatively and collectively ending violence. Stay tuned.
    Alright, that’s it for now. You can find links to the CI website and toolkit as well as other resources in the episode notes. Thanks for listening and here’s our conversation.
    Episode Resources & Notes Shira Hassan: 
    Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction.
    Interrupting Criminalization - The Help Desk
    Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators
    Mimi Kim:
    Creative Interventions Website
    Creative Interventions Toolkit (Physical

    • 35 min
    How We Work Matters: Reflections From A Burned Out Organizer

    How We Work Matters: Reflections From A Burned Out Organizer

    The following talk was delivered by Dr. Kim Wilson at the DecARcerate Arkansas 2022 conference in Little Rock. The conference was an opportunity for abolitionist and other organizers to come together to listen as speakers from around the state and the country talked about their work.
    Kim interviewed organizers about their experience with boundary setting in movement spaces, and what they said illuminates a deeper problem that we seldom hear addressed, but that is nonetheless, important for liberation movements. As the mother of two sons currently sentenced to LWOP; as an organizer that provides education, direct support, and mobilizes resources for people in and out of prison; and as a Black disabled woman that is struggling with multiple health issues, she is emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted.
    The talk was a collaborative effort that included the voices of women and femmes in the movement who felt that these things need to be said, and Kim had the opportunity to use her platform to say them. We invite you to listen and to act upon what she shares, and to use this talk as an entry point to engage people in your community and movement spaces about what all of the women and femmes said.
    You can support Kim directly via Venmo (@Kim-Wilson-16) and CashApp ($BeyondPrisons)
    Transcript To borrow a phrase from the inimitable Fannie Lou Hamer, “I’ve been tired so long, now I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I want a change.”
    Y’all I’m tired. I’m tired of arguing, of fighting, of feeling like we’re constantly having to remind people of our humanity. I’m tired of the suffering, of the trauma, and of watching people die. I’m tired of oppressive systems, of prisons, of poverty, homelessness, and hyper-individualism. I’m tired of watching my friends suffer. I’m tired of people treating incarcerated people as if they don’t matter. I’m tired of ableism. I’m tired of living in a white supremacist capitalist patriarchal society. I’m tired!!!! I’m tired of crisis management. I’m tired of sacrificing my physical and emotional well-being. I’m tired of people’s discomfort being the standard by which we decide on really important things. I’m tired of cynicism. I’m tired of the thinking that says that women, and particularly Black Women, femmes and other folks should be willing to do this work without question or limits. I’m tired of fighting for people that expect me to have their backs, when I know that they don’t have mine. Not really, really!
    I’m tired of toxic masculinity. I’m tired of men acting like they’re doing women a favor when they are asked to do the absolute least necessary for us to survive. I’m tired of having to fear violence, anger, and passive aggression from men in general, but especially from men in movement spaces. I’m tired of the unspoken expectations that are placed on women in movement spaces that shift the burden onto women and femmes to do most of the work of organizing.
    While we’re ALL suffering under these oppressive systems, women, femmes, trans, non-binary, gender non-confirming folks, and disabled people are disproportionately affected by these systems and we are still showing up and doing all of the things. This is not sustainable!
    To be clear, this is NOT a call out or a call in. This is our reality. I’m not the only one that’s tired. Many of us are exhausted, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. I am bringing this forward so that we can set about the task of collectively changing things.
    There is no healing in isolation. Part of the liberatory project is to heal our collective trauma, and HOW we work together is part of that work.
    This work has to happen alongside the tearing down and building up. It’s not work that can be deferred until some magical date in the future when we have the time, OR conditions are perfect. When folks make that argument recognize that they are gaslighting and attempt

    • 20 min
    What Is The Creative Interventions Toolkit? feat. Mimi Kim & Rachel Herzing

    What Is The Creative Interventions Toolkit? feat. Mimi Kim & Rachel Herzing

    This is the first episode of our Creative Interventions series. 
    In this series, we will explore the Creative Interventions Toolkit, which provides tools, resources, and a model for community interventions in interpersonal violence. We’ll go section-by-section and talk to some of the folks whose work served as the source material for this project.
    You can find digital versions of the Creative Interventions Toolkit or purchase a physical copy by visiting www.creative-interventions.org.
    According to their website, “Creative Interventions provides vision, tools and resources to help anyone and everyone create community-based, collective responses to domestic, family, and sexual violence. The community-based approach centers those closest to and most impacted by harm, honors their expertise, and builds collective knowledge and power as the solution to violence.”
    The CI Toolkit has been around for a while now but AK Press released it in print for the first time last December. So, while we’ve talked about it in previous episodes, we wanted to use this occasion to spend more time with it in the hopes of spreading some of the tools, frameworks, skills, strategies, and roles in ending interpersonal violence that come out of this movement. 
    We’re starting this series off with a conversation with Mimi Kim and Rachel Herzing, setting the stage by talking about where the CI Toolkit came from, how it’s structured, and how it proposes intervening in violence and, importantly, how its community-centered approach differs from others.
    Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! She has been a long-time activist, advocate and researcher challenging gender-based violence at its intersection with state violence and creating community accountability, transformative justice and other community-based alternatives to criminalization. As a second generation Korean American, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Mimi is also an Associate Professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach and Co-Editor-in Chief of Affilia. Her recent publications include “The Carceral Creep: Gender-Based Violence, Race, and the Expansion of the Punitive State, 1973-1983” (2020) and “From Carceral Feminism to Transformative Justice: Women of Color Feminism and Alternatives to Incarceration” (2018). She is currently working on a restorative justice pilot project addressing domestic and sexual violence in Contra Costa County, California.
    Rachel Herzing has been an organizer, activist, and advocate fighting the violence of surveillance, policing and imprisonment since the 1990s. Rachel was the director of research and training at Creative Interventions.  Rachel was also the executive director of Center for Political Education, a resource for political organizations on the left, progressive social movements, the working class and people of color, and a co-director of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to abolishing the prison industrial complex.
    Episode Resources & Notes Creative Interventions Website
    Buy the Creative Interventions Toolkit from AK Press
    Creative Interventions Toolkit (Free PDF)
    Creative Interventions Toolkit in Spanish (Free PDF)
    Creative Interventions Workbook (Google Doc)
    Follow CI on Facebook
    Follow CI on IG
    Follow CI on Twitter
    Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Edited by Ellis Maxwell
    Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam
    Theme music by Jared Ware
    Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more

    • 58 min
    Panel: Why Physical Mail In Prison Matters

    Panel: Why Physical Mail In Prison Matters

    This is the audio version of a panel discussion hosted on March 24 that explores the importance of physical mail in prison and how the prison industrial complex works to undermine imprisoned people's ability to meaningfully communicate with their loved ones.
    You can watch video of the panel here: https://www.beyond-prisons.com/home/video-why-physical-mail-matters
    Physical mail is a layered issue, and policies that eliminate physical mail are violent and cruel. They seek to destroy the loving and caring connections that people have. They “pile on” more separation than that which already exists and makes it even harder for people to remain in relationship and community with their support systems. They disproportionately affect poor people. They add another cost onto the already long list of things that prisoners and their loved ones pay for. They expand the surveillance mechanisms of the carceral state in ways that I’m not sure we have begun to grapple with.
    Letter writing has always been an important form of communication between prisoners and their loved ones. Eliminating physical mail reveals the inhumanity of this system and illustrates that incarceration has NOTHING to do with rehabilitation or preparing people to return to their communities, and EVERYTHING to do with using incarcerated people and their loved ones as revenue streams.  
    Letters exchanged between prisoners and loved ones offer a counter to the dehumanization that we experience. Letters, cards, drawings, and ephemera serve as proof of life in a system that seeks our erasure and death. These documents are how we build or rebuild relationships, how we share news (good, bad, and mundane), how we learn about the conditions inside, how prisoners are able to stay connected to the children and families that are outside, and how we prevent more harm. 
    Hosted by the Beyond Prisons Podcast, NYU Prison Education Program and Study and Struggle. 
    Introduction by Kim Wilson. Kim Wilson is an educator, self-taught artist, and cohost and producer of the Beyond Prisons podcast.
    Moderated by Charlotte Rosen. Charlotte Rosen is a PhD Candidate in History at Northwestern University and a member of Study and Struggle, which organizes against criminalization and incarceration in Mississippi through mutual aid, political education, and community building.
    Panelists:
    Monica Cosby. Monica describes herself as a “gramma trying to do liberatory stuff,” subscribing to an abolition feminist mode of thinking, being and moving in the world. Her life and work have been shaped and informed by  the communities to which she belongs, including the community of artists, scholars, moms with whom she was incarcerated, and whose survival was/is an act of resistance against a system that would dispose of them. As an advocate and activist, she has collaborated, organized, and worked with Westside Justice Center, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois, Women’s Justice Institute, Uptown People’s Law Center, and others. Monica is a scholar, thinker, and writer, having essays published or reprinted in TruthOut and In the Long Term (published by Haymarket Books). She also wrote Solitary Confinement is Used to Break People; On Leaving Prison: A Reflection on Entering and Exiting Communities; And, Restorative Revelations by Monica Cosby and Analise Buth–published in the St. Thomas Law Journal.
     
    Lawrence Posey (He/Him). Lawrence is 44 years old and originally from Camden, New Jersey. He currently lives in the Bronx. He is a father of two children who are 18 and 15. He was previously incarcerated. Since his  release, he works as a manager at a company called Reserve Inc which is a covid-19 coalition. He is also a student at New York University studying at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study, majoring in Film and Business. He recently started his own publish

    • 1 hr 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
227 Ratings

227 Ratings

malfoxley ,

Great show!

The hosts of the Beyond Prisons podcast highlight all aspects of mass incarceration and more in this can’t miss podcast! The hosts and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

Irishfan-12 ,

Review

This is VITAL information. Thank you. Trying to get MORE involved and educated.

joseoso ,

Outstanding podcast on abolition

I’m so grateful for this podcast

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