The Prison Works

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‘The Prison Works’ is a cracking little pamphlet recently published by the Campaign against prison slavery (CAPS) & Brighton ABC.

Ken Clarke, confused new Tory boss of the injustice system

If you think prison does actually work, then read this. If you dont think it works…well read it anyway as it will broaden your knowledge and understanding. The term ‘prison works’ is a play on the dogmatic ideas of the likes of Michael Howard and the Tory governments from 1979 to 1997. Just put the term in a search engine and you’ll see what we mean!

The 20 page pamhplet contains 4 articles:
What is prison for? by Joe Black of CAPS, asks what prison is, and delves into criminological theory. It provides a concise history of the development of prison, and ends with an overview of the current prison regime.

If you dont work you stay locked down

Prison works? is also by Joe Black, and critiques the use of ‘work’ in prison as perhaps the primary form of controlling the prison population, particularly under the Incentives & Earned Priviliges Scheme introduced in 1995. The article continues by questionning exactly what role does prison serve in the eyes of the authorities, and links it to the UK’s development of the prison industrial complex pioneered by the USA.

Are prisoners slaves? is Joe Black’s third article, it develops the theme above and argues that prisoners are indeed captive slaves, ripe for exploitation by capital in its thirst to undermine organised labour, and maximise its profits.

Why prisoner support? is by Bra Bros, and exhorts fellow anarchists to provide support and solidarity to prisoners.

The pamphlet is littered with quotes, both historical ones by some of the original anarchist theorists, and by more recent anarchist prisoners and fighters. There are also many footnotes for further reading!

You can pick up this little cracker for a mere £1 from Kebele Infoshop and direct from us. Or you can get a copy from us by 2nd class post – just send a cheque for £1.25 payable to ‘Kebele’, with Bristol ABC written on the back, and post to us at: Bristol ABC, 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY.

Alternatively, you can find 3 of the 4 articles online. Read ‘Prison works’ here; ‘Are prisoners slaves’ here; and ‘Why prisoner support’ here and here.