Akin to the beacon to true north and freedom, there is a light above and within that illuminates our individual and collective journeys towards abolition of the prison industrial complex; this is our North Star. Together, we will chart our paths to healing and restoration while dismantling systems of harm and punishment.
The Thirteenth Amendment’s abolition of slavery included an exception for those convicted of a crime. Informed by the impacts of this exception clause, we will examine the morphing of slavery into the carceral state; identify abolition entry points along the punishment paradigm; consider abolition strategies and, as led, take our next steps towards a society that honors the light in all and is committed to true community wellbeing.
Lewis Webb, Jr. serves as Healing Justice Program Director in AFSC’s New York Office and National Coordinator of AFSC Healing Justice Network. After graduating from law school, Lewis has dedicated his entire professional career to criminal justice issues. At AFSC, Lewis focuses his work on decreasing New York’s prison population by mitigating paths to incarceration and increasing opportunities for release through sentencing and parole reform. He is widely recognized as an expert on the school-to-prison pipeline, barriers to successful reentry, engaging communities of faith, and cultivating young activists.