Panagioti Tsolkas, “Just Transition Not Toxic Prisons: Organizing around the Intersections of Incarceration and the Environment.”

Event Date: 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Event Location: 

  • UCSB Campus

Panagioti Tsolkas of the Prison Ecology Project spoke on “Just Transition Not Toxic Prisons: Organizing around the Intersections of Incarceration and the Environment.” UCSB, April 25, 2016.

The Prison Ecology Project was created by the Human Rights Defense Center in order to investigate, document and take actions to address the ways in which mass incarceration degrades the natural environment and the human health of those inside or nearby prisons and jails. The mission of the Prison Ecology Project is to map the intersections of mass incarceration and environmental degradation, and create action plans to address the multitude of problems found there. The vast prison population in the US has become, in many respects, a nation unto itself. Incarcerated people, formerly-incarcerated people and their families share a common experience that is akin to being part of a cultural diaspora with communities spread across the country in detention facilities. That reality doesn’t just impact the people involved, but also has significant ecological effects. The environments surrounding prison and jail facilities share common, unique characteristics—what we are calling prison ecology.

Panagioti Tsolkas is co-founder of the Prison Ecology Project and a coordinator of the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons. He has 19 years of direct action and community organizing experience and is formerly an editor of the Earth First! Journal, a trainer with the Ruckus Society, and a chairperson of both the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition and the Lake Worth Community Relations Board (a municipal board responsible for police oversight.)

Sponsored by UCSB’s Global Environmental Justice Project, the Environmental Studies Program, the Next System Project, and the Climate Justice Project