What would a just prison system look like to you?
It’s complicated. Most of us in the 21st century abolitionist movement look to W.E.B. Du Bois’ critique about the abolition of slavery — that it was not enough simply to throw away the chains. The real goal was to re-create a democratic society that would allow for the incorporation of former slaves. [Prison abolition] would be about building a new democracy: substantive rights to economic sustenance, to healthcare; more emphasis on education than incarceration; creating new institutions that would tend to make prisons obsolete.
You think prisons won’t be necessary one day?
It is possible, but even [if it doesn’t happen], we can move to a very different kind of justice that does not require a retributive impulse when someone does something terrible.
Patt Morisson interviews Angela Davis (LA Times)