Unconditional Care Beyond the Carceral Education State: A Call for Abolitionist Departure


abolitionist education
transformative justice
alternative education
carceral education
liberatory education

How to Cite

Goldman, M. (2024). Unconditional Care Beyond the Carceral Education State: A Call for Abolitionist Departure. Radical Teacher, 128. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2024.1106


This paper wrestles with the concept of care and its role in the movement towards abolitionist education. I draw from my experiences as a teacher / ethnographer in an alternative high school, called FREE LA, that serves and was created by system-impacted young people who have been pushed out of or barred from, or otherwise refused to participate in, traditional schooling. Grounded in students’ perceptions of how this space departs from traditional schools and other carceral institutions, I grapple with their consistent emphasis on care. Students’ juxtaposition between the type of care they experienced in traditional schools, and a different type of care experienced at FREE LA, leads me to consider both the violent genealogies of conditional care as endemic to state schooling, and the potential for reclaiming old-new genealogies of unconditional care that map radically reimagined educational space(s). The juxtaposition between these two types of care opens broader questions about the limitations of educational reform and the possibilities for abolitionist departure.



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Copyright (c) 2024 Margaret Goldman