A student activist group at Brown University is calling for the abolition of all American prisons.
According to a report by the Brown University student newspaper, a student activist organization called “RailRoad” is fighting to eliminate all prisons in the United States.
The Facebook page for “RailRoad” claims that the group is dedicated to “laying the tracks” for a world that does not have prisons.
“Railroad is a collective of prison abolitionists, criminal justice reformers, and others working in solidarity with communities and organizations in Providence who are laying the tracks for a world beyond prisons,” the page reads. The page features Trevor Noah memes and screenshots of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tweets.
RailRoad member and Brown student Grace Austin told attendees at a recent meeting that their goal is to end all forms of imprisonment in the United States. “The end goal is to not have prisons as any form of incarceration,” Austin said. “Punishment at any stage doesn’t guarantee any kind of growth.”
Leah Shorb, another student member of the group, argued that there are many ways to end the “cycle of incarceration.” For example, she argued that university programs that mandate the hiring of former convicts signify a step towards the abolishment of prisons.
“If people aren’t totally on board with the issue of mass incarceration and prison abolition in general, then they may not necessarily be as convinced about fair chance hiring,” Shorb said. “Anything that is interrupting the cycle of incarceration is abolitionist to me as long as it’s not further entrenching the system of incarceration.”
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