The session was described as:
Prison Abolition & Permaculture
How can we re-design our ‘criminal justice’ system? How does the prison system harm our communities and what role does permaculture play in designing and building alternatives? Ex-prisoner, Nicole Vosper, will introduce the prison industrial complex before participants collectively explore if permaculture has a role to play and how in reducing harm in our society.
What went well?
The workshop was really well attended. There was a lot of existing knowledge in the room, with some people having worked in healthcare relating to prisons, for example. This contributed greatly to group conversations and thinking around if permaculture can play a role in moving society away from prisons. There was definite consensus that prisons are harmful and that permaculture has an important role in supporting communities meet their own needs without the state from the grassroots up.
I normally introduce the ideas of prison abolition over a two hour session. This allows everyone to participate more fully, give more thought to the complexities and un/learn some of ideas of what abolition means as a long term goal and way of organising now. Therefore the biggest challenge was simply only having an hour together to connect some of the dots!
However, overall I was really pleased with how the workshop went. I think its a good move for a movement that is working for social justice and ecological regeneration.
For anyone more interested in the politics & practice of prison abolition visit: www.prisonabolition.org