Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People Are Dismantling Mass Incarceration
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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."
"A well-written survey of groups pushing for change in the criminal justice system. . . . Criminal-reform advocates will enjoy this primer."
"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
--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