We use cookies for site personalization and analytics. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Issue 536 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

March-April 2022

Jailbreak: reimagining justice

Despite pouring billions of dollars into increasingly militarized police forces and groaning prison systems, they are not keeping us safe. So, what could the world look like without them? In this edition we explore the long-standing, but often misunderstood, movement that seeks to abolish prisons, police and the systems that support them, while making them obsolete in the process. We hear from people around the world who are putting abolition into action by daring to think differently about justice.


  • Discover unique global perspectives
  • Support high quality independent media
  • Magazine delivered to your door or inbox
  • Digital archive of over 500 issues

Subscribe »

Included in this issue

The alternative film review

Malcolm Lewis on two standout releases in world cinema.

The alternative music review

Bahia by Ana Carla Maza; Ghost Song by Cécile McLorin Salvant.
Making friends at the Bomana  Prison, in Port Moresby City, Papua New Guinea  in December 2017.

Beyond punishment

Amy Hall explores the movement calling time on prisons and the police while offering an alternative vision of the future.
Riot police hit protesters participating in a demonstration against lawmakers’ salary demands outside the parliament buildings in Nairobi in May 2013. THOMAS MUKOYA/REUTERS/ ALAMY

Colonize and punish

Mass imprisonment and merciless policing were the preferred tools of control for European colonizers. Patrick Gathara explores...
Protesters march with a banner that reads: 'Disarm, defund, abolish' in red capital letters

10 steps towards prison abolition

A world without incarceration and police may seem a long way off, but there are plenty of things we can change on the way. Amy...
Jessie jokes with his dad. Jessie wrote to Briarpatch: ‘Growing up, my dad was in prison. When I got a life sentence, he changed his life and stayed out and has been my support. This picture is me mimicking my nieces, who pull on his beard – it’s something I never got to do as a kid...’ JESSIE MILO

Healed people heal people

Writing from a Californian prison, Jessie Milo sets out his vision for a more caring society.

Resisting the cop in our heads

Abolition can be an everyday practice. Sarah Lamble explores how.
Shut out – Too many children are young people are being discarded by England’s education system.IEVGEN CHABANOV/ALAMY

Abandoned: Abolition in education

England’s schools funnel its most marginalized young people towards the criminal justice system, writes Zahra Bei. But...
Through Abraço Campeão, Alan Duarte works with young people to see a future amid the pressure of constant violence and police raids. JOSIANE SANTANA

So, what’s the alternative?

Community-based initiatives are helping keep people safe where the police fail. Lucilla Harrell and Amy Hall speak to...

Reversing Pinochet’s legacy will be an uphill battle

Carole Concha Bell on Chile’s unfinished revolution.
EU / WFP bags of food aid in a warehouse in Algeria

Should emergency aid be neutral and unconditional?

Khin Ohmar and Toby Lanzer explore the complex trade-offs made by humanitarians working under repressive regimes.

A child’s right to be forgotten

Roxana Olivera tells a cautionary tale of her dogged attempts to get an abusive, intrusive photograph – taken without its...

Past issues

Subscribe   Ethical Shop