The Harm Free Zone Southern Regional Book Study
SpiritHouse Inc, in partnership with Alternate Roots, is launching The Harm Free Zone Southern Regional Book Study. Over a four month period (from March to June 2017) community member across 14 southern states, and the District of Columbia, will come together to read and discuss Dr. Baz Dreisinger’s book “Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice In Prisons Around the World”. In “Incarceration Nations”, Dr. Dreisinger, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, “travels behind bars in nine countries to rethink the state of justice in a global context.”
The SpiritHouse book-study series began in 2015 as part of its Harm Free Zone Movement; a community-centered, culturally rooted vision of transformation that helps us repair the lasting damage of systemic racism and oppression. Over the past two years we have partnered with over thirty local organizations to develop a shared understanding about issues impacting poor people and people of color in our community. Developing and deepening our analysis within diverse community settings has proven to be a powerful foundation for building the common understanding that has help us create a Durham that more accountable to all its residents.
“As the South goes, so goes the nation” – W.E.B. Dubois
As we enter our third year of collective learning, SpiritHouse is partnering with Alternate Roots a southern regional arts service organization, to expand our collective understanding of the impacts of criminalization and incarceration around the world; with a particular focus on the southern United States. Some southern incarceration facts that we know today are: 1) the South makes up 45% of all state-based incarceration nationally, 2) seven southern states rank in the top ten nationally as having the highest rates of incarceration (AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, TX ) with Louisiana being called the prison capital of the world , 3) in 7 out of 13 southern states, African Americans make up the majority of the prison population (AL, GA, MS, NC, SC, VA).
At SpiritHouse we believe that we have everything we need to change these horrible facts. We believe we can create a South that will lead the world away from its legacy of mass incarceration, towards a world without prisons. We hope that you will join us in this groundbreaking exploration.
For more information, and to join the Harm Free Zone Southern Regional Book Study contact
Tia Hall at Tia@SpiritHouse-nc.org.
Prison Policy Initiative - State Prison Profiles