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Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement

Ejeris Dixon, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

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Structural inequality is the root cause of crime; here are some strategies for accountability beyond the criminal justice system.

Transformative justice seeks to solve the problem of violence at the grassroots level, without relying on punishment, incarceration, or policing. Community-based approaches to preventing crime and repairing its damage have existed for centuries. However, in the punative atmosphere of contemporary criminal justice systems, they are often marginalized and operate under the radar. Beyond Survival puts these strategies front and center as real alternatives to today’s failed models of confinement and “correction.”

In this collection, a diverse group of authors focuses on concrete and practical forms of redress and accountability, assessing existing practices and marking paths forward. They use a variety of forms—from toolkits to personal essays—to delve deeply into the “how to” of transformative justice, providing alternatives to calling the police, ways to support people having mental health crises, stories of community-based murder investigations, and much more. At the same time, they document the history of this radical movement, creating space for long-time organizers to reflect on victories, struggles, mistakes, and transformations.

 

The definitive collection of writings on transformative justice. This is the first popularly available book on transformative justice since The Revolution Starts At Home, which was originally published in 2011. Police violence and racism are constantly in the news and in recent years, even mainstream publications have questioned the legitimacy of the police. However, many people still wonder how communities can provide for public safety outside of the existing criminal justice system. This volume offers numerous examples of how this has been done in the past and could be improved upon in the future.

 
Contributor Bio(s)
 
 
 
Ejeris Dixon is an organizer, consultant, and political strategist with twenty years of experience organizing within racial justice, LGBTQ, transformative justice, anti-violence, and economic justice movements. She is the Founding Director of Vision Change Win Consulting where she partners with organizations to build their capacity and deepen the impact of their organizing strategies. Her essay, "Building Community Safety: Practical Steps Toward Liberatory Transformation," is featured in the anthology Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is the Lambda Award winning author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability JusticeDirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way HomeBodymapLove CakeConsensual Genocide and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. A lead artist with the disability justice collective Sins Invalid, she is a longtime cultural worker, educator and organizer within disability and transformative justice communities.
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