Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition with Liat Ben-Moshe

Thursday, October 17, 4-5:15pm in Ustler Hall Atrium

Liat Ben-Moshe event PDF

Recent scholarship and activism paint a troubling picture of the American carceral state and chart a way out by utilizing the framework of abolition. But disability and madness and their histories of oppression and resistance are largely missing from as ways to inform policy and activist resolutions to incarceration. For example- the erasure of the most massive exodus of people from carceral enclosures in the U.S., deinstitutionalization. In contrast, Dr. Ben-Moshe showed how disability/mad knowledges and histories, and their racial resonances, should inform analysis of the closure of carceral enclosures such as prisons, jails, psychiatric hospitals and residential institutions for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, through the prism of abolition.

Liat Ben-Moshe is an Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, author of Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition (University of Minnesota Press 2020) and co-editor of Disability Incarcerated (Palgrave 2014). She is an activist-scholar working in various capacities for liberation from carceral locales and logics, focusing on disability/madness.



For more information, visit: or contact Prof. Jodi Schorb (

This event was organized by the UF Mellon Intersections Group on Mass Incarceration.