social change | November 26, 2012

The Pitfalls of Imprisonment: Angela Davis & Noam Chomsky's New Lecture Series

"It is not a simple call to abolish prisons," Angela Davis argues, in reference to her work, "but rather, it is also a call to create the conditions of life." Davis, the legendary human rights activist and gifted public speaker, will join renowned linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky to discuss the prison industrial complex. Together, they challenge the belief that putting people behind bars keeps society safe. The two social leaders will speak on the same stage for the first time in Boston on December 8th. The event, Radical Futures And Prospects For Freedom, focuses on bringing awareness to issues of global inequality. Davis claims that providing people in need with adequate access to food, shelter, and income makes a community safe and secure. When people are unable to obtain these basic necessities, they will do whatever it takes to get them—which sometimes leads to criminal activity. Given the fact that incarceration only perpetuates a cycle of poverty, Davis suggests analyzing the social, political, and economic factors at play in areas with high levels of crime. Arresting people from these areas is a band-aid solution to a wider institutional problem that needs to be addressed and corrected. 

After spending a year-and-a-half in the prison system herself, Davis has become an advocate for fighting the inequalities present in the judicial system. Her books, Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete?, question the way the current penal system operates. She is currently working on a third book, titled Prisons and American History. In her powerful lectures, Davis explores a world without bars. She provides eye-opening research and compelling evidence to support her theory that the justice system is failing, and explores what we need to do to ensure that we are living in a free, safe, and just society.