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Working for JusticeA Handbook of Prison Education and Activism$
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Stephen John Hartnett, Eleanor Novek, and Jennifer K. Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037702

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037702.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

“People Like Us”

“People Like Us”

A New Ethic of Prison Advocacy in Racialized America

(p.203) Chapter 10 “People Like Us”
Working for Justice

Eleanor Novek

University of Illinois Press

This chapter addresses the question of how to move beyond our national addiction to racism, arguing that public attitudes can be changed from punitive to compassionate through closer knowledge of prisoners and their experiences. As evidence of this claim, the chapter chronicles the experiences of a longtime New Jersey-based workshop leader for the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), a volunteer network that offers conflict-transformation workshops in prisons and communities. The chapter examines public discourse on prisons and detailing the intersections of crime, fear, and social inequality that reinforce the racism of the prison-industrial complex. It also sketches the parameters of an inclusive vision of community safety based not on punishment, but on ethics of nonviolence, care, and compassionate love.

Keywords:   racism, prisoners, Alternatives to Violence Project, conflict-transformation workshops, crime, fear, social inequality, nonviolence, compassionate love

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