RELEASE: New Book From Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Authors Outlines Ways To Change the Criminal Justice System

Washington, D.C. — Today, The New Press, the Center for American Progress, and the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Family Movement launched What We Know: Solutions from Our Experiences in the Justice System. The book is written entirely by currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and focuses on reforming the criminal justice system. Each of the essays proposes a policy solution derived from the affected author’s own experience and expertise.

The book was presented during one of the sessions of the 2020 Innovations Conference, a three-day online event where numerous criminal justice experts and advocates are gathering to discuss how to shrink and transform the criminal justice system. What We Know calls on policymakers and experts to listen to those who have lived through the criminal justice system and know it firsthand but too often are left out of the discussion on how to transform and change it.

What We Know co-editor Vivian Nixon was in the panel to launch the book, along with authors Khalil Cumberbatch, C.T. Mexica, Arthur Longworth, and DeAnna Hoskins, who spoke about their experiences in the carceral system as well as their solutions for how it might be transformed.

“The reality is that the system is made up of human beings, and the impact on those human beings is where the solutions lie,” Nixon said. On the original idea to write this book, she added: “We didn’t look for policies that we agreed with; we didn’t necessarily look for policies that we thought were viable. We looked for policies that were based on the individual experience of the authors who wrote these essays, and I am so proud of everyone.”

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