The Opening Statement

MAPS is excited to publish a quarterly newsletter that centers critical articles written by those currently imprisoned. The first issue opens with an introduction to the goals and the framework of the publication, which can also be seen below.

To download the newsletter, follow these links:

The Opening Statement Spring 2018
The Opening Statement Winter 2018
The Opening Statement Fall 2017
The Opening Statement Summer 2017
The Opening Statement Spring 2017

 

THE OPENING STATEMENT provides a framework to foster a broad and continuing dialogue among prisoners, their family and friends, abolitionists, social justice activists and all interested parties in order to find more effective ways to challenge the practice of caging people for part or all of their lives, and to promote social justice through education and dialogue.

The goal of THE OPENING STATEMENT is to assist in developing the critical analytical tools necessary to understand the system of imprisonment, our socialization to it, and to develop a sense of agency and capacity to interrupt imprisonment patterns. THE OPENING STATEMENT realizes that developing the critical and analytical tools necessary to begin the process of abolishing imprisonment is no simple feat. For this reason, we need resources so that we can understand how it operates at individual, cultural, and institutional levels, historically and in the present.

To that end, THE OPENING STATEMENT facilitates dialogue to help those on the inside and those on the outside make sense of and, hopefully, act more effectively against the pervasive idea, woven throughout social institutions as well as embedded within individual consciousness, that imprisonment is natural and necessary – when it is not.

THE OPENING STATEMENT is the first step in making the connection between awareness and action, i.e., acquire a language to critically understand the tensions, contradictions, fears, doubts, hopes, and “deferred dreams” that are part and parcel of living in confinement. The first step is placing the experiences of prisoners in a larger socio-economic political framework. We must have a correct understanding of our social position before we can move to higher, more secure and effective, stages of action. The first step, but not the last.