Building Your Abolitionist Toolbox

Everyday Resources for a Punishment-Free World

Graphic notes by Laura Chow Reeve / Radical Roadmaps

Mapping the Prison Industrial Complex

with Micah Herskind

More people are talking about the prison industrial complex (PIC) than ever. Decades of abolitionist organizing and popular uprisings have led to a growing consciousness around the PIC and movements to abolish it. But what exactly is the PIC? How does it work? Who is involved? Is it mainly about companies that directly profit from incarceration? What does it mean for the PIC’s actors to be reliant on the punishment system?

This workshop will use a recent example of the PIC in Atlanta—whose actors promoted the construction of a massive police training facility despite overwhelming public opposition—to begin mapping the web of interests that make up the local PIC. Looking at the police, government actors and elected officials, corporations and developers, media, nonprofits, and others, we’ll draw connections between the many entities that perpetuate, expand, and rely upon the punishment system. We’ll ask what each of these actors’ stake in the punishment system is, and highlight the resistance from #StopCopCity organizers who are still working to stop the construction. Attendees will leave with a tool to aid in mapping the PIC in their locality.

Read this article prior to viewing the session. 

Micah Herskind is an Atlanta-based organizer and policy advocate. He is a member of the Georgia Freedom Letters core organizing team and a co-creator of the #8ToAbolition political education project. Micah has written about the prison industrial complex (PIC) and movements to abolish it and maintains a regularly updated resource guide on PIC abolition.


Mapping the PIC Handout

Graphic Notes