1. The concentration of preventable deaths from coronavirus in carceral facilities has been highly documented from the reporting of criminal justice think tanks such as Prison Policy Initiative as well as the New York Times. See Prison Policy Initiative, “COVID-19 and the Criminal Justice System,” accessed November 24, 2020, https://www.prisonpolicy.org/virus/index.html; and Jordan Allen, Sarah Almukhtar, Aliza Aufrichtig, Anne Barnard, Matthew Bloch, Sarah Cahalan, and Weiyi Cai et al., “Coronavirus in the US: Latest Map and Case Count: Cases in Jails and Prisons,” last modified May 31, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html.
2. Free Them All for Public Health, accessed May 31, 2021, https://freethemall4publichealth.org/.
3. Tamika Middleton, in discussion with the author, March 29, 2021.
4. Diane E. Austin, “Coastal Exploitation, Land Loss, and Hurricanes: A Recipe for Disaster,” American Anthropologist 108, no. 4 (December 2006): 671–691; Clyde Woods, “Les Misérables of New Orleans: Trap Economics and the Asset Stripping Blues, Part 1,” American Quarterly 61, no. 3 (September 2009): 769–796; Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, “Lockdown Louisiana,” in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, ed. Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013); ACLU et al., Abandoned and Abused: Orleans Parish Prisoners in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina (Washington, DC: ACLU, 2006), 10, 20–30.
5. Jodie Smith and James Rowland, Temporal Analysis of Floodwater Volumes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (Washington, DC: US Department of the Interior, 2007), 59, https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1306/pdf/c1306_ch3_h.pdf; ACLU et al., Abandoned and Abused, 35, 43–53, 57–62.
6. ACLU et al., Abandoned and Abused, 70; “Louisiana: Detainee Abuse Requires Federal Probe,” Human Rights News, October 4, 2005, https://www.hrw.org/news/2005/10/04/louisiana-detainee-abuse-requires-federal-probe#; Brandon L. Garrett and Tania Tetlow, “Criminal Justice Collapse: The Constitution after Hurricane Katrina,” Duke Law Journal 56, no. 1 (2006): 148; Barry Gerharz and Seung Hong, “Down by Law: Orleans Parish Prison before and after Hurricane Katrina,” Dollars & Sense, March/April 2006, 44; Leslie Eaton, “Judge Steps in for Poor Inmates without Justice,” New York Times, May 23, 2006, https://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/23/us/judge-steps-in-for-poor-inmates-without-justice.html.
7. “Military Due to Move in to New Orleans,” CNN, September 2, 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/02/katrina.impact/; US, 109th Congress, 2nd Session, A Failure of Initiative: Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2006), 248, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-109hrpt377/pdf/CRPT-109hrpt377.pdf; Gwen Filosa, “New Detention Center Opened,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), September 3, 2005. While some Katrina survivors reappropriated food and medical supplies, others did take things like televisions to barter with for a ride out of town. See Jordan Flaherty, Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2010); and Dan Berger, “Constructing Crime, Framing Disaster: Routines of Criminalization and Crisis in Hurricane Katrina,” Punishment & Society 11, no. 4 (October 2009): 491–510. On the NOPD’s killing of Black storm survivors, see A. C. Thompson, “Body of Evidence,” ProPublica, December 19, 2008, https://www.propublica.org/article/body-of-evidence; and United States of America v. Michael Lohman, Criminal Action 10-032 (E.D.La, 2010), Bill of Information for Conspiring to Obstruct Justice, February 3, 2010, https://int.nyt.com/data/int-shared/nytdocs/docs/107/107.pdf. On white vigilante violence, see Welcome to New Orleans, directed by Rasmus Holm (Copenhagen: Fridthjof Film, 2006), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V__lSdR1KZg; and A. C. Thompson, “Post-Katrina, White Vigilantes Shot African-Americans with Impunity,” ProPublica, December 19, 2008, https://www.propublica.org/article/post-katrina-white-vigilantes-shot-african-americans-with-impunity. Hundreds of newspapers reported that New Orleans Katrina survivors were “out of control” and “thugs.” A few examples are: “Military Due to Move”; “Police Kill 5 as Contractors Attacked,” Associated Press, September 4, 2005; and “‘Hurricane Katrina: Crisis, Recovery’ for September 4,” MSNBC Special Reports, September 5, 2005, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9218509/ns/msnbc-morning_joe/t/hurricane-katrina-crisis-recovery-september/#.W7WEUpNKjqQ. While a few publications eventually made retractions about New Orleanians responding to the storm with violence, these stories were published with little fanfare—ensuring the initial reports remained dominant. Jim Dwyer and Christopher Drew, “Fear Exceeded Crime’s Reality in New Orleans,” New York Times, September 29, 2005, https://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/29/us/nationalspecial/fear-exceeded-crimes-reality-in-new-orleans.html#:~:text=NEW%20ORLEANS%2C%20Sept.&text=Looting%20began%20at%20the%20moment,edge%20of%20the%20French%20Quarter.
8. Kai Lumumba Barrow, in discussion with the author, January 18, 2016; “Looters Taking Advantage of Katrina Devastation,” CTV News, August 31, 2005, http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=674.
9. Barrow, discussion; Middleton, discussion; Mayaba Liebenthal, in discussion with the author, April 27, 2016; Ruth Wilson Gilmore, email message to author, November 17, 2020. On organized abandonment, see David Harvey, The Limits to Capital (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “Forgotten Places and the Seeds of Grassroots Planning” in Engaging Contradictions, ed. Charles R. Hale (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).
10. W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880 (New York: Free Press, 1998); Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003); Middleton, discussion. On the CR articulation of abolition as a remaking of society, see Critical Resistance Publications Collective, “The History of Critical Resistance,” Social Justice 27, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 6–10; and Critical Resistance Publications Collective, ed., Abolition Now! Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle against the Prison Industrial Complex (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2008). For more on the Third Reconstruction framework, see Saladin Muhammad, “Hurricane Katrina: The Black Nation’s 9/11! A Strategic Perspective for Self-Determination,” Socialism and Democracy 20, no. 2 (July 2006): 3–17; and Eric Mann, Katrina’s Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (Los Angeles: Frontlines Press, 2006).
11. Civil Rights Congress, We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief from a Crime of the United States Government against the Negro People (New York: Civil Rights Congress, 1951); Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Boston: Beacon Press, 2002), 58–59; Barrow, discussion.
12. “Breaking News from the Times-Picayune and Nola.com – Hurricane Katrina – the Aftermath Weblog for Day 8, Sunday, September 3, 2005,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), September 3, 2005; “Looters Taking Advantage of Katrina Devastation,” CTV News, August 31, 2005, http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=674.
13. I Won’t Drown on that Levee and You Ain’t Gonna’ Break My Back, directed by Ashley Hunt (Corrections Documentary Project, 2006), https://vimeo.com/17174758.
14. I Won’t Drown; Calvin Johnson, Mathilde Laisne, and Jon Wool, Criminal Justice: Changing Course on Incarceration (New Orleans: Data Research Center, 2015), 1; Louis Hamilton et al. v. Victor Schiro et al. Civ. A. No. 89-2443; Louisiana Coalition on Jails and Prisons, “LCJP Sues Orleans Sheriff,” Inside, April/May 1982, p. 8, Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons Records, box 2, folder: Louisiana Coalition, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; “Death in Custody,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), April 9, 1999; Lolis Eric Elie, “Who Protects?,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), April 9, 1999.
15. Elie, “Who Protects?”
16. Marina Sideris and the Amnesty Working Group, “Amnesty for Prisoners of Katrina: A Critical Resistance Special Report,” in Hurricane Katrina and Criminal Justice: Response to the Periodic Report of the United States to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, November 2007, p. 1. Critical Resistance’s grassroots research and interviews were joined by the work of Safe Streets/Strong Communities and the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, which also collected incarcerated people’s stories. Those stories became primary sources for the ACLU National Prison Project’s definitive and extensive report, Abandoned and Abused.
17. Barrow, discussion.
18. Critical Resistance, “Media Kit: Amnesty for Prisoners of Katrina Weekend,” December 2006, in the author’s possession.
19. Liebenthal, discussion; Andrea Slocum, in discussion with the author, May 9, 2016; Angela Y. Davis, “Amnesty for Prisoners of Katrina Keynote,” transcript, December 9, 2006, in the author’s possession.
20. Critical Resistance, “Faith Communities Call for Healing and Reconciliation during Amnesty Sunday Services across New Orleans,” press release, November 30, 2006, in the author’s possession.
21. Diana Chandler, “Angela Davis Will Be at Prisoner Rights Forum,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), December 7, 2006; Gwen Filosa, “Prison Activist Takes Katrina Tour,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), December 11, 2006; “Angela Davis Speaks Out on Prisons and Human Rights Abuses in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” Democracy Now!, December 28, 2006, https://www.democracynow.org/2006/12/28/angela_davis_speaks_out_on_prisons; Jesse Muhammad, “Amnesty for Prisoners of Katrina,” Final Call, last modified January 12, 2007, http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/Amnesty_for_Prisoners_of_Katrina_3185.shtml; Liebenthal, discussion; Sideris and Amnesty, “Amnesty for Prisoners of Katrina.”
22. Liebenthal, discussion; Sideris and Amnesty, “Amnesty for Prisoners of Katrina,” 18, 19.
23. Barrow, discussion; Liebenthal, discussion; Slocum, discussion.
24. Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, “The Contested Terrain of the Louisiana Carceral State: Dialectics of Southern Penal Expansion, 1971–2016” (PhD diss., CUNY Graduate Center, 2019); Matt Davis, “New Jail Building Approved by City Council; Sheriff Must Close Others When It’s Built,” Lens (New Orleans, LA), February 3, 2011, https://thelensnola.org/2011/02/03/jail-ordinance-passe/; Ordinance, City of New Orleans, Calendar No. 28,291, January 6, 2011, in the author’s possession.