When the Prisoners Ran Walpole: A True Story of the Movement for Prison Abolition

Publication Year
Walpole, Prisons, Labour, Abolition 
"In 1971, Attica's prisonyard massacre shocked the public, prisoners, and political leaders across the United States. Massachusetts residents pledged to prevent such slaughter from ever happening there, and the governor agreed. Thus started a move for reform that led eventually to the prisoners at Walpole's Massachusetts Correctional Institute winning control of its day-to-day operations. *When the Prisoners Ran Walpole* brings this vital history to life, revealing what can happen when there is public will for real change and trust that the incarcerated can achieve it. For the first time in US history, prisoners secured authorization for their union to conduct collective bargaining with the prison administration. Their union, the National Prisoners Reform Association (NPRA), enabled prisoners to address their living and working conditions from the inside. In the months before they took over running the maximum-security facility in 1973, prisoners and outside advocates created programs that sent more prisoners home for good. When guards, protesting the changes, finally refused to run the prison, the prisoners stepped ably into the void–and all-out peace ensued. Critical to the work of prison abolitionists and transitional reformists alike, this fiercely optimistic book reminds us why people seek to make prisons obsolete–and how ordinary people set about to do just that." 
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