An Abolitionist Toolkit

Critical Resistance developed “The Abolitionist Toolkit” to help activists collaborate and educate others about the movement to abolish the prison system. The resource is American, but much of the advice is focused more generally on prison abolition, and that can be helpful for activists in many countries.


The toolkit is a few years old now – it was first posted in 2004 – and although it’s produced with the California prison system in mind, there are a lot of good educational resources and tips packed into this resource.


There are information sheets outlining some of the challenges for particular groups entering the prison system. Trans folk continue to face incredibly harmful and oppressive treatment during their incarceration and placement in prisons – recent examples in both the US and Canada come to mind (CeCe Mcdonald and Avery Edison, respectively). There is a great section on how the prison system can be used to “punish” the homelessness, and others on the role of mental health challenges and the education system in furthering a prison-supporting society.  


Another valuable part of the toolkit is the section on appealing to “common sense.” It’s basically a guide to connecting and interacting with non-abolitionists, and capitalizing on common ground. There are a couple of real-life examples to illustrate the advice, as well as some exercises and an FAQ section for illuminating the ideas of prison abolition. 


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