Webinar: The Prison Abolition Movement

The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly shed light upon the weaknesses and flaws of the corrections system in the United States. It is time to explore alternatives to a system that has evolved into mass incarceration and disproportionately affected people of color. The Prison Abolition Movement has many facets worth exploring. Dr. Jason Williams, Assistant Professor, Justice Studies at Montclair State University led this important webinar and discussion as the church explores alternatives to our broken corrections system.


Recommended Reading

A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America by Ernest Drucker

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor by Alexes Harris

Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry by Keesha M. Middlemass

Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele, Angela Y. Davis


Dr. Jason M. Williams, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies, Montclair State University

Dr. Jason Williams is a passionate activist criminologist deeply concerned about racial disparity and mistreatment within the criminal justice system.  Dr. Williams is an NJ native—raised by his grandmother in a housing project, which ultimately led him to pursue a doctorate in the administration of justice from Texas Southern University. Aside from publishing in the academic arena, his perspectives are also posted on several public outlets, including The Hampton Institution and Truthout.  He has conducted ethnographic research in Baltimore MD and Ferguson MO following the police-involved tragedies of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. He has also engaged research around returning citizens, and how they navigate reentry and the prison. He is mostly concerned about the punitive effects the criminal justice system imposes upon marginalized populations. Dr. Williams has been invited to Old Dominion University, Yale University, and other institutions to lecture on some of the topics mentioned above.  He is also deeply entrenched in community work as he serves on the board of two major organizations in New Jersey and actively works with others for a change in the administration of justice.

Rev. Dean Bucalos, NBA Mission Specialist, Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group

Rev. Dean Bucalos is a Mission Specialist for the NBA Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group. He was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served as the pastor of congregations in Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana. He is the founding pastor of New Life in Christ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a congregation he began inside a women’s re-entry facility in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the executive director of Mission Behind Bars and Beyond, an ecumenical re-entry program that trains small, faith-based groups to work with returning citizens upon their release from prison.