Solidarity with prisoners, mass struggle against the prison-industrial complex

The function of prisons

We understand that prisons are institutions that warehouse internal colonies, oppressed nations, and surplus labor forces of the United States, and that prisons are an institution of genocide. We cannot view prisons as isolated institutions that are to be abolished alone, but rather, as a part of, a vital tool of, class rule within the euro-settler-imperialist system—a system that needs to be abolished entirely. And this can only be done by the liberation of internal colonies, oppressed nations, within and outside of the U.S., and the end of capitalist relations of private property and classes altogether.

We strive to educate people on the outside, particularly people with incarcerated loved ones, about the neo-colonial functions of prisons, so we can better understand them, and in turn, better fight them.

Reforms and abolition

IDOC Watch does not view reform as a means of eliminating systemic violence against incarcerated people. However, we support various reforms that facilitate the transformation of prisons into spaces of liberatory education. How can prisoners learn together and work toward abolition if they don’t have proper medical care or nutrition, if they are constantly shaken down and brutalized by C.O.s, or if they are censored and cut off from people and materials on the outside? Reform and policy changes can help create the conditions for revolutionary, abolitionist action, but we are under no illusion that the work ends there.

We are actively supporting reforms, rollbacks of harmful initiatives and policies, and encouraging communication between prisoners and their loved ones and comrades in order to foster the conditions in which people can transform themselves and others into revolutionaries through education.

To learn more about what is discussed in this section, and how we view organizing more in depth, please read our political line.