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We gratefully acknowledge the generous contribution of time, energy, resources, insight, and feedback by all who have contributed to this effort.

Defending Justice is the result of a collaborative effort and could not have been created without the thinking and input of many individuals and organizations. First and foremost, I would like to thank PRA's research staff in particular Director of Research, Nikhil Aziz, and PRA researcher Pam Chamberlain who tirelessly wrote, rewrote, edited, and proofed Defending Justice. Senior Analyst Chip Berlet's patience, and his decades of experience, was refreshing and very much appreciated. Their mentorship was truly respectful and collaborative and the process proved that meaningful inter-generational collaboration is possible.

Present and former PRA staff were also helpful: Toby Beauchamp, Stephanie Clark, Kate Cloud, Jean Hardisty, Shelly Harter, Richard Allen Jackson Jr., Namorya Nelson and Roberta Salper. A special thanks to Tom Louie, PRA's Director of Communications and Development, for enthusiastically leading our promotion efforts. The dedicated efforts of PRA interns Sarah Augusto, Dan Castleman, Todd Ching, Cyrus Dugger, Sarah Finn, Arlene Fredrick, Maggie Frye, Maura Klugman, Shamarukh Mohiuddin, Tom Pryor, Kate Rodriguez, and Johnny Yong made this publication happen.

We could not have conceptualized this publication without the kind advice and constructive criticism from members of the Advisory Committee and the activist community. It was my intention to involve as many community organizers, academics, and people affected by the system as possible; and by the end of the project, more than 75 people played a role in producing Defending Justice. In particular, I would like to thank Rachel Herzing, Rose Braz and other members of Critical Resistance for not only paving the intellectual path, but for also demonstrating a genuine commitment to movement-building. This publication has been greatly influenced by your work. Rachel Roth, of Ibis Reproductive Health, was also especially generous with her time and advice.

Our advisors on this project have been exceptionally helpful, and despite their busy schedules, always made time for PRA. We could not have conceptualized this publication without the insight of: Gary Delgado, Gina Acebo and others at the Applied Research Center, Jeremy Lahoud, Holly Richardson at ARISE for Social Justice, Rickke Mananzala, Gavin Kearney, Joy James, Kimani Clarisse Paul-Emile, Laura Sager and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Patricia Allard at the Brennan Center for Justice, Malcolm Young and the Sentencing Project, Andrea Smith, Nisrin Elamin, Jason Zeidenberg and the Justice Policy Institute, Aarti Shahani and Subhash Kateel from Families for Freedom, Kate Rhee and the New York Prison Moratorium Project, Scot Nakagawa, Lois Ahrens at Real Cost of Prisons Project, Stormy Ogden, Paul Watanabe, Gail Small, Native Action, Judy Greene, Christina Wilson and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Julia Sudbury, Arnoldo Garcia and the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Tshaka Barrows and the Community Justice Network for Youth, Ingrid Benedict and SOUL/School of Unity and Liberation, Dorsey Nunn and All of Us of None, Prison Activist Resource Center, Roger White, Anna Couey, and Terry Marshall from the DataCenter, Jessy Fernandez, Lenore Anderson and the Ella Baker Center, Michelle Foy and Craig Gilmore from California Prison Moratorium Project, Tink Tinker, Michael Chapman, Faith Smith, Janet Wolf, Brooks Berndt, Phil Wilayto, Marlene Freid, Loretta Ross, Cara Paige and the Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment.

We thank the following authors and organizations for generously giving us permission to print their work: Katherine Beckett and Theodore Sasson; Rachel Herzing, Critical Resistance; Stormy Ogden; Christian Parenti; Natsu Taylor Saito; Robert Graham; Deborah Peterson Small; Luana Ross; Andrea Smith; Zoltan Grossman; Harmon Wray; Dean Robinson; Rob Boston and Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Lynn Paltrow and National Advocates for Pregnant Women; Theryn Kigvamasud'Vashti, Committee on Women, Population and the Environment; Applied Research Center; Matt Lyons; The New Press; Mike Males; Center on Criminal and Juvenile & Criminal Justice; and Project South. Special thanks to Rachel Roth, and Cassandra Shaylor and Cynthia Chandler of Justice Now for their original articles.

We are grateful to the following activists and organizations who generously shared their insights in the Q&As;: Deborah Peterson Small and Break the Chains, Leah Henry Tanner, Stop Prisoner Rape!, Malika Saada Saar and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Zoe Hammer and Border Action Network, Maria Brennes and InnerCity Struggle, Kate Lowenstein and Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, Mimi Budnick and Direct Action for Rights and Equality, and Citizens Education Project (courtesy of Western Prison Project).

We were delighted to work with Debbie Hird who designed Defending Justice. The talented team at Design Action Collective in Oakland brilliantly designed the cover, our promotional materials and the website. Special thanks to Michael Jacobson Hardy for the cover image. In addition, Kirk Anderson, Stephanie McMillan, and Prince Serna put smiles on our faces by giving us permission to print their cartoons.

Many individuals and institutions have provided unrestricted support for PRA. Major donors supporting this work include: an anonymous donor through the San Francisco Foundation, Common Stream, The Brico Fund, C.S. Fund, Chambers Family Fund, Coydog Foundation, Funding Exchange/Dorfman Fund, Funding, Exchange/Flannery/Reilly Fund, Funding Exchange/Front Street Fund, Funding Exchange/Heller-Bernard Fund, Gaea Foundation, Haymarket People's Fund, Stephen A. and Diane L. Goldberg Foundation, Victor and Lorraine Honig Fund, Albert A. List Foundation, Morris Family Foundation, Ms. Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, Tides Foundation/Underdog Fund, Tides Foundation/Tara Fund, and Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock.

On a personal note, my parents (both families) and grandparents, my sisters and brother, and, most of all, my partner have unconditionally supported me with endless encouragement, love, and patience. I could not have made it through the two years of producing Defending Justice without you.

Finally, much respect and love to the incarcerated brothers in the Black Studies class in the Suffolk County House of Corrections (South Bay) here in Boston. I am so grateful for your wisdom, strength, and love. Together, we will struggle and persevere.

In love, peace, and solidarity,

Palak Shah
Editor, Defending Justice
Political Research Associates


Defending Justice is a publication of Political Research Associates (PRA), an independent nonprofit research center that exposes the Right and larger oppressive movements and institutions. PRA produces research and analytic tools to inform and support progressive activism.

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