Firestorm Books to host virtual conversation on criminal justice reform

Press release form Firestorm Books:

Firestorm Books is excited to announce a free, virtual event with Victoria Law and Maya Schenwar, co-authors of a new book exploring alternatives to incarceration. The September 19th event follows the recent publication of Schenwar and Law’s debut collaboration, Prison by An Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms (New Press, 2020), which features a forward by New York Times bestselling author and civil rights activist Michelle Alexander.

According to Alexander, the authors are “radically changing the terms of the debate. They remind us that mass incarceration must be defined to encompass all versions of racial and social control that keep people locked up and locked out.”

Victoria Law and Maya Schenwar will be joined by members of the Asheville-based Steady Collective and Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross to discuss how criminal justice reforms have impacted individuals and communities in our region. From drug courts and mandatory treatment to electronic monitoring and community policing, participants will hear how reforms obscure an agenda of social control, while grassroots organizers offer a bold vision for truly alternative justice practices.

This online event will include ASL interpretation. To register, participants must send an email to with the subject title “Prison by Any Other Name.”

Maya Schenwar is the editor-in-chief of Truthout. She is the author of Locked Down, Locked Out and the co-editor of the anthology Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? She lives in Chicago.

Victoria Law is a freelance journalist and author of Resistance Behind Bars and co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind. She is a co-founder of NYC Books Through Bars and lives in New York.

Firestorm Books & Coffee is a twelve year old collectively-owned bookstore and community event space at 610 Haywood Road. The co-op, known for its social movement-oriented book selection, hosts frequent events related to policing and incarceration.

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