Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted that the prison system should be abolished due to its ties to Jim Crow and slavery, bringing one of the stranger proposals of democratic socialists into mainstream conversation.
Yes, we have moved from #AbolishICE to prison abolition, although Ocasio-Cortez ultimately did not suggest an alternative in her call for "decarceration."
"Mass incarceration is our American reality," Ocasio-Cortez wrote Monday morning. "It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery. To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country."
"Yesterday morning I spoke with a woman who was thrown in Rikers as a teenager," Ocasio-Cortez later wrote. "Put in solitary confinement for MONTHS, aka torture. Force-fed pills. The conditions were so bad, she too had drank out of toilets. A cage is a cage is a cage. And humans don't belong in them."
Prison abolition is, indeed, exactly what it sounds like. Release everyone, close down the prisons, and seek "just alternatives to incarceration."
Some self-described socialist candidates running within the Democratic Party "advocate more extreme changes, such as abolishing the prison system," The New York Times reports.
Sure enough, the Boston Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America has a "Prison Abolition Working Group" that meets monthly. The national DSA Twitter account has tweeted "we need to abolish the prison system." A resolution favoring the abolition of prisons reportedly passed last year at the DSA's annual convention.
Abolishing the prison system would be a tough sell, to say the least. To the obvious question of where do you send violent criminals — Ocasio-Cortez has no answer at this time.
"Lastly, people tend to say 'what do you do with all the violent people?' as a defense for incarcerating millions," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "Our lawmaking process means we come to solutions together & either way we should work to an end where our prison system is dramatically smaller than it is today."
I know the term “prison abolition” is breaking some people’s brains. The right is already freaking out. Yet the US… https://t.co/Wcc5pMxT9b— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1570456684.0
(H/T: The Daily Caller)