The August Rebellion—the name of a historic 1974 uprising of women prisoners—should resound throughout the world, but it is tragically unknown, even among most of the Left. Protesting the brutal beating of a fellow prisoner, the inmates at New York's maximum-security Bedford Hills prison fought off guards, holding seven of them hostage and taking over sections of the facility. This is just one example of many little-known stories of struggle inside women's prisons and outside their walls.
Resistance Behind Bars provides much-needed documentation of collective organizing and the daily struggles inside women's prisons. This powerful new edition includes two new sections that examine the challenges facing transgender, transsexual, intersex, and gender-variant people in prison as well as their acts of resistance, and many other recent and ongoing stories of resistance and organizing by women prisoners.
with an introduction by Laura Whitehorn
Winner of the 2009 PASS Award (Prevention for a Safer Society) from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Praise for Resistance Behind Bars
"An important contribution to the growing movement to end prisons as we know them." -- Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
"Law’s important book illuminates these under reported stories of individual and collective organizing by women in prison and encourages all of us to work in solidarity across prison walls to create a world that no longer includes the prison industrial complex.” –Angela Y. Davis, author of Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prison, Torture, and Empire and Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz
"A thorough and compelling work." -Ayelet Waldman, editor of Inside this Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons
"Written in regular English, rather than academese, this is an impressive work of research and reportage." --Mumia Abu-Jamal, political prisoner and author of Live From Death Row
"Law's book is a brilliant and highly accessible contribution to the burgeoning movement that challenges and proposes to dismantle not only processes of criminalization but the bleak, inhumane nature of the prison industrial complex in its entirety." - Kay Whitlock, co-author, Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States
"Victoria Law boldly shines the light and breaks the silence with her exhaustive research, her attention to both the personal and political, and yes, calls us – with the imprisoned women whose stories she shares, always with so much passion and respect – to ‘a world without cages.’” - Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity, St. Catherine University and Editor of Criminal InJustice at Critical Mass Progress
"Resistance Behind Bars refuses to let women prisoners remain unseen and unheard. Instead, it encourages us to think deeply and critically about our own responsibility to resdesign a social landscape on which coercion and confinement—and especially punishment for profit—will eventually fade away." –Patricia O'Brien, Associate Professor, University of Chicago, and Book Editor of