Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People Are Dismantling Mass Incarceration

21,000+ Reviews
Bookshop.org has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$27.99  $26.03
New Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.5 X 1.0 inches | 0.9 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
A former public defender, Jocelyn Simonson is professor of law at Brooklyn Law School and the leading national authority on community bail funds. Her work has been cited by the Supreme Court and discussed in The Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the Associated Press, and she has written for the New York Times, The Nation, n+1, the Washington Post, and others. Radical Acts of Justice (The New Press) is her first book. She lives in New York City.

Praise for Radical Acts of Justice:
A Ms. Magazine Most Anticipated Book

"Simonson gives an overview of the guiding purpose, methods, and outcomes of grassroots movements challenging the criminal justice status quo."

"[An] impassioned account of grassroots responses to mass incarceration."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A well-written survey of groups pushing for change in the criminal justice system. . . . Criminal-reform advocates will enjoy this primer."
--Library Journal

"This sophisticated work of nonfiction presents an argument that the American carceral system can be resisted and broken down by regular folks, rather than experts and elites."

"Jocelyn Simonson is one of the great up-and-coming legal intellectuals. But this book is much more than something very smart and well-written. It is an exploration of an essential new shift in forms of participatory democracy, and everyone should read it and then get involved in their local community with these new forms of community empowerment--the significance of which she so expertly explains to a wider audience."
--Alec Karakatsanis, founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps and author of Usual Cruelty

"An important, sophisticated, and often inspiring book about how the human beings most affected by our criminal system are challenging and changing it from within. With scholarly rigor, passion, and deep on-the-ground expertise, Simonson reveals a vibrant world of ongoing collective action and offers a rich new understanding of public safety."
--Alexandra Natapoff, professor of law, Harvard Law School, and author of Punishment Without Crime

"A deeply inspiring account of communities coming together to reclaim and reshape fundamental definitions of safety, justice, and the law itself. A lesson and a road map for organizers everywhere."
--Baz Dreisinger, professor of English, John Jay College, founder of Prison-to-College Pipeline, and author of Incarceration Nations

"Jocelyn Simonson provides a lucid bird's-eye view of the essential sites of organizing and collective work against the carceral state--bail funds, participatory defense hubs, people's budgets and more--that have proliferated in the last decade. This book is indispensable for anyone trying to understand racial justice politics and criminal law reform today."
--Amna Akbar, professor of law, Ohio State University

"Radical Acts of Justice exposes grave injustices in the U.S. criminal legal system. Simonson uses compelling examples to challenge assumptions about what happens in court during a criminal proceeding. The common notion that, in the U.S., all accused are innocent until proven guilty is a radical departure from the truth. Contrary to the scripts of court TV dramas, in real life the accused are often protected only by community-based interventions. As readers follow Simonson through the courts, they will witness discrimination on public display. Some will concede that the system is beyond repair. A courageous and pragmatic reclamation of community power, Simonson speaks to an unjust system on behalf of we the people."
--Vivian Nixon, writer in residence, Square One, Columbia University

"Simonson provides a much-needed description and analysis of the national movement to redefine safety and justice through grassroots collective action--showing us that even in a time of 'law and order' backlash, communities are winning concrete victories in dialing back the system of mass criminalization."
--Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing