Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement

The title of this book describes its mission, which is to move beyond surviving abuse or assault, and to organize for the purpose of addressing violence and the root causes of violence. Transformative Justice , if implemented widely and over time, will build community safety systems that can function independently of the criminal justice system. The essays in this book are first-hand accounts describing approaches for responding to and preventing violence and abuse without police and prisons.


Syriana: Hollywood’s Oil Flick

Director Stephen Gaghan's gripping new film "Syriana" explores the roots of 21st century civilization's biggest dilemma: Peak Oil. Inexpensive fossil fuels - oil and natural gas - have floated both the corporate-controlled global economy and U.S. imperial planetary hegemony for the past several decades. Now, the party is over, as "elephant" fields like Kuwait's Burgan are peaking, oil companies are maintaining sagging portfolios by buying up other companies' reserves (real and fictitious). The world is beginning to grasp the significance of living without immediate and inexpensive access to one of the 20th century's most vital resources.

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A Call to Fight the Prison/Industrial Complex 9/01

"From the hour of my first imprisonment in a filthy county jail I recognized the fact that the prison was essentially an institution for the punishment of the poor, and this is one of many reasons why I abhor the prison, and why I recognize it to be my duty to do all in my power to humanize it as far as possible while it exists, and at the same time to put forth all my efforts to abolish the social system which makes the prison necessary by creating the victims who rot behind its ghastly walls."        
    — Eugene V. Debs, from the essay, "Walls and Bars", 1926.
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Prison Nation 12/01

Driven by fear, the US has surrendered to “carceral Keynsianism”

And, to a degree, it’s true: The country does have a phenomenal number of murders and murderers, gangsters, mercenary drug pushers, kidnappers, rapists, and armed robbers. Arguably, since the very birth of the nation – complete with the roving gangs of brigands in Appalachia and privateers off the Atlantic seaboard – it always has had. And, like all things American, violence here, whether it be the gang violence associated with illegal drugs, or the urban upheavals of the rioting poor, happens on an epic scale. At the height of the crack wars of the 80s, more than 25,000 people were being killed annually. Parts of inner-city Los Angeles, Washington, Detroit, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, and several other cities, are, indeed, virtual war zones. read more

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In Bad Company 12/01

How US criminal “justice” stacks up with the rest of the world

Execution of children, sub-human prison conditions, sexual abuse of women prisoners, the economic exploitation of prisoners, brutal incarceration of refugees – these are some of the human rights violations for which the US regularly takes the moral high ground and condemns other countries. But since the 1990s, much to Uncle Sam’s discomfort, critics have charged that the self-proclaimed arbiter of the world’s moral standards has no business criticizing other countries about the abysmal state of their prison systems while its own laws and criminal justice practices remain out of line with recognized international humans rights standards. read more

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It’s About ‘Time’

Bringing Justice to Vermont Prisons 
February 16, 2002, Burlington, Vermont


Many Vermonters have been concerned about our criminal justice system, which, although better than some, nevertheless has many problems. The last few years have given rise to several citizens’ groups that are dealing with issues like poor health and mental well-being care; transferring prisoners out of state; probation, parole and the furlough system; unfair sentences; behavioral treatment; sexual abuse; lack of meaningful rehabilitation; high telephone and commissary costs; and other policies that unnecessarily cut prisoners off from relatives, friends, and the outside world. Bringing together prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families, students, professionals, and activists from around the state, this conference took a hard and honest look at Vermont’s prison system, and explored the potential for improvement. Conferees also heard from those with direct experience, and work toward a united response. read more