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Researching good practices to overcome prison. Deinstitutionalisation of mental hospitals and slavery abolition: what works?

Santorso, S. (2018). Researching good practices to overcome prison. Deinstitutionalisation of mental hospitals and slavery abolition: what works?. Revista Brasileira de Ciencias Criminais, 144(1), 553-572

Published onMar 11, 2024
Researching good practices to overcome prison. Deinstitutionalisation of mental hospitals and slavery abolition: what works?
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Abstract

In this article, my purpose is to frame and analyse two experiences of dismantling oppressive institutions to have a better understanding of the possible and effective prison abolitionism praxis. For that purpose, I will consider two specific historical episodes: the deinstitutionalisation of mental hospitals in Italy and slavery abolition in the US. Those will be constructed as both historical and political models to drive through the abolition of prison. In the article, I will discuss the tension between the end of an institution and its potential clawback, underlining the necessity of a positive plan to overcome unjust and oppressive institutions. In essence, abolitionism is read in this article as a broad critique of society (Davis, 2000), thus the closure in and of itself is part of a larger plan to create a more just society (Ben-Moshe, 2013). The aim is to address what I consider one of the key issues to bring abolitionism from a theoretical field to a political praxis, namely the necessity to define a path to let prison abolition get real

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