Georgia Freedom Letters was formed in the summer of 2020 by a group of organizers, educators, and people who care about ending criminalization to build connections across the walls of Georgia’s criminal legal system through letter writing.
We are an abolitionist group that seeks to build a world without prisons, policing, and surveillance. We believe that abolition is neither done to or for, but rather with and as, those who are inside prisons and directly impacted by the prison industrial complex. As incarcerated organizer Stevie Wilson says, inside and outside activists are like the two wings of a bird: both are needed for the bird to fly straight.
Prisons are intentionally isolating institutions, keeping those inside from their loved ones and stripping them of many forms of autonomy. And in Georgia, there is a noticeable divide between free world activists and organizers, and the 55,000 people incarcerated in Georgia prisons. As people who care about ending systems of criminalization, we recognize this as a problem. We cannot do the work of abolition without engaging with and supporting those who are incarcerated.
We believe that forging solidarity and building connections across walls is a core part of abolitionist work. By pairing people to share letters back and forth, we hope to begin breaking down the isolation and separation that marks incarceration, and to begin building a network of inside/outside individuals invested in learning about and combating the prison-industrial complex.
We also believe in the importance of ongoing political education both individually and in community with each other. Through Georgia Freedom Letters, we will offer materials to both inside and outside participants on the history of various resistance movements, and encourage those in our network to read, circulate, and discuss these ideas.