Student Week Against Mass Incarceration

SWAMI 2017 Banner


Following the National Lawyers Guild Law for the People Convention in October 2015, NLG membership adopted a resolution calling for “the dismantling and abolition of all prisons and of all aspects of systems and institutions that support, condone, create, fill, or protect prisons.” In honor of this resolution, in 2016 the NLG expanded our annual Student Week Against the Death Penalty to become Student Week Against Mass Incarceration (SWAMI).

This year, SWAMI will be held February 27-March 3 and the theme is Mass Incarceration in the Trump Era.

In 2017, we ask NLG Student Chapters to organize events and actions at your law schools on any topic related to prisons in this current political climate, and to address the ways that the next 4-8 years could lead to new challenges and setbacks for prison organizing. In past years, Guild chapters have organized interactive workshops, community discussions, film screenings, tabling, letter writing campaigns, banner drops, visits to incarcerated youth, and panels on topics such as solitary confinement, school to prison pipeline, immigration detention, transformative justice, and alternatives to incarceration.

The Guild is currently engaged in unique and innovative efforts nationwide to alleviate some of the harm inflicted by the prison-industrial complex, including the Parole Preparation Project of the NLG-NYC Chapter’s Mass Incarceration Committee, the Prisoner Advocacy Network of the NLG-SF Bay Area Chapter’s Police and Prisons Committee, and theGuild Notes column, “Beyond Bars: Voices from NLG Jailhouse Lawyers”.  NLG Mass Incarceration Committee and Prison Law Project volunteers respond to jailhouse lawyer members’ letters and send out our Jailhouse Lawyer Manual on an ongoing basis. The NLG Political Prisoner Support Committee provides legal support for and connects Guild members with political prisoners. NLG members are involved in various initiatives opposing policing, criminalization, solitary confinement, the drug war, capital punishment, and new prison construction. The Guild also supports the National Prison Strike initiated on September 9, 2016.

To learn more about incarcerated Guild members, their concerns, and more resources on prison litigation and organizing, please check out the NLG Jailhouse Lawyer website.

Please email NLG Director of Research and Education Traci Yoder at to share the events you are organizing! Everyone should post flyers, pictures, and event invites on the Student Week Against Mass Incarceration Facebook event page and join the conversation on Twitter using #NLG and #EndPrisons. Tweet to us @NLGnews!


Punishment and Policing in the Trump Era

Trump Sets Private Prisons Free

What Trump and Session Could Mean for Solitary Confinement

Fighting Mass Incarceration Under Trump

Immigration Guide to How Arrests and Convictions Separate Families

Following the Money of Mass Incarceration

Prison Abolition Syllabus

Are Prisons Obsolete? 

Corrections Project PIC Poster

Transforming Carceral Logic

Reasons for Penal Abolition

Joint Statement of Incite! and Critical Resistance

Incarcerated Workers Take The Lead


Broken on All Sides

Visions of Abolition

The 13th

“Prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings.” -Angela Y. Davis