Tuesday, May 4, 6:30 pm eastern

“Prisons Make Us Safer”: A Conversation Between Victoria Law and Andrea J. Ritchie

Hosted by Barnard Center for Research on Women

“Prisons Make Us Safer”: And 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration (April 2021) by journalist and activist Victoria Law offers a synthesis of the massive problem of prisons and policing by tracing the rise and cause of mass incarceration, myths about incarceration, misconceptions about incarcerated people, and steps to end mass incarceration on the way to abolition.Through carefully conducted research and interviews with incarcerated people, Law identifies the 21 key myths that propel and maintain mass incarceration, including: the system is broken and we simply need some reforms to fix it; incarceration is necessary to keep our society safe; prison is an effective way to get people into drug treatment; private prison corporations drive mass incarceration; mass incarceration only affects Black cisgender men; and bringing up a history of abuse and violence is simply an “abuse excuse.”

Victoria Law will be joined in conversation by Andrea J. Ritchie.

Streaming online. Live transcription and ASL interpretation will be provided. Please email any additional access needs to

This event is free and open to all. Register at:

 Sunday, May 9, 6:30 pm eastern

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Friday, May 21, 3 pm eastern

Angela Y. Davis, Beth Richie, Liat Ben-Moshe, Maya Schenwar, and Victoria Law in conversation on disability, madness, and prison abolition.

In this timely conversation about disability, madness, prison reform and abolition, speakers will confront the entanglement of punishment and treatment, the carceral state and social work, and caging and “rehabilitation.” They will engage with the Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law’s Prison by Any Other Name and Liat Ben-Moshe’s Decarcerating Disability, and the questions these books raise.

In Prison by Any Other Name, Schenwar and Law argue that: “The entwinement of the asylum and the prison is an old story. For the past two and a half centuries, the discipline and control of people diagnosed with mental illness has ridden alongside the discipline and control of criminalized people. Very often, those populations are one and the same, and controlled by the same authorities. The solution to their existence was, and often continues to be, confinement.”

In Decarcerating Disability, Ben-Moshe refers to this as “Carceral ableism. . . the praxis and belief that people with disabilities need special or extra protections, in ways that often expand and legitimate their further marginalization and incarceration.“ She shows how deinstitutionalization is often wrongly blamed for the rise in incarceration; who resists decarceration and deinstitutionalization, and the coalitions opposing such resistance; and underscores the limitations of disability rights and inclusion discourses, as well as tactics such as litigation, in securing freedom.

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This event will also be recorded.

Live ASL interpretation and captioning will be provided. For other access questions and requests, please contact