Unshackling Humanity: Dismantling Mass Incarceration and the Road to Abolition

The Problem: 9 inmates died in Texas prisons after having no A/C

As I brave scorching 100-degree weather to rally against mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex’s abolition, the distressing image of lives lost in Texas jails due to lack of air conditioning weighs heavily on my mind. Advocacy groups already deemed these jails inhumane due to black mold and inadequate infrastructure. This compels us to broaden our perspectives: jails and prisons, inherently, cannot be humane.

The tragic deaths underscore a troubling truth: as long as correctional officers and wardens hold discretionary power over incarcerated individuals’ needs, their choices tend towards negligence. Rather than centers of rehabilitation, prisons perpetuate cycles of unjust punishment, yielding a power imbalance that has claimed countless lives – some documented, countless others not. History has ingrained these institutions with a legacy that can’t be reformed: they sustain the echoes of slave labor, persisting even after the so-called “abolition of slavery.” This framework perpetuates the subjugation of free Black individuals, the poor, people of color, and even the system’s enforcers.

The remedy to the lack of air conditioning isn’t mere remodeling within a settler-colonialism empire. The actual resolution lies in preventing the path to incarceration. The answer isn’t improved imprisonment or policing but eliminating these structures. We must foster innovative solutions to liberate our people from modern-day enslavement, dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex with each step we take. When articles spotlight the mistreatment of incarcerated individuals, we must transcend surface-level fixes and contemplate the root destruction needed.

Fighting for prison amendments merely opens the door for claims of humane conditions within cages. Our battle extends beyond cosmetic changes; we should be champions of abolition.

The Solution: End Mass Incarceration Now

Written: Quincy Gardenhire

Data: https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/28/texas-prisons-heat-deaths/