Session materials from “Developing Co-ops with Incarcerated and Returning Citizens,” presented by Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard at NASCO Institute 2016.
This participatory workshop addresses racism, exploitation, and humanism through alternative economics in the criminal justice system. Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard will start people thinking about and discussing building cooperatives in prisons with incarcerated members, and outside with members who were formerly incarcerated and to support re-entry. She will open by setting the context of exploitation against and marginality of people of color in the criminal justice system, and the roles economic and community justice can play. She explores this kind of inclusivity of the co-op model, and furthers the discussion about how to address prison reform/abolition in a solidarity economy framework and broaden the strategies for working with returning citizens. She will include information about Italian social and worker co-operatives in offender rehabilitation, along with Italy’s enabling laws; and Canadian and Puerto Rican examples of using cooperatives in and outside prisons. She will engage participants in discussion about how to bring these models to the US.