Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Mark Golub

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

Rights Information

Olivia G Gleason


This thesis aims to situate prison and police abolition in the margins, using bell hooks definition of the margins as physical or imagined “locations of radical openness and possibility.”[1] This thesis traces the roots of abolition to Black radical tradition and Indigenous radical relationality by looking at various sites located in the margins. These Black and Indigenous sites inherently resist the state through their very existence and belief in their own humanity, in a system actively trying to dehumanize them, as well as by creating frameworks and practices that abolitionist organizers use today. With this said, I link transformative justice and environmental justice, two key abolitionist sites today, to this legacy of Black and Indigenous radical knowledges, traditions, and practices. I hope to highlight the unique role Black and Indigenous people have played in creating knowledges and practices that are extremely useful and that have been being used to abolish the prison industrial complex[2] overtime and today. This is also a call for the necessity of centering the knowledges and experience of those in the margins in any of the liberatory work we do.

[1] bell hooks, “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness,” In Yearning, ed. bell hooks, (England: Taylor & Francis, 2014), 152.

[2] Critical Resistance, “What is the PIC? What is Abolition,?” Critical Resistance, n.d.,

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.