Historian with a passion for social justice leads the charge at PCAP

New interim director emphasizes the importance of PCAP’s daily transformative work.
by Fernanda Pires

Ann Arbor—The Prison Creative Project (PCAP) will have an Interim Director for the 2019-2020 school year. Associate professor Ashley Lucas, Director since 2013, has been awarded a writing fellowship from the U-M Institute for the Humanities. Lucas will take a sabbatical year to focus on nothing but finishing her book Prison Theatre: Performance and Incarceration. 

Nora Krinitsky, Program Director for the Carceral State Project and also a lecturer at the university, will take over the director position on August 1, 2019. 

PCAP—Dr. Krinitsky, welcome officially to PCAP! What a wonderful honor to have you as our interim director for the 2019/2020 school year. How excited are you?

Krinitsky—Very, very excited! PCAP is a wonderful community to be a part of and I already feel incredibly welcomed! 

PCAP—Can you please share with us a little bit of your journey to get here?

Krinitsky—I’m a historian of policing, criminal justice, cities, and the carceral state. My research examines the long history of discriminatory policing, the racialization of crime, and police violence and other forms of state violence in the United States. I see the direct repercussions of that history in our communities and criminal justice system every day. It’s my goal to learn from and teach about that history in order to bring about positive social change today. 

PCAP—How did you get involved with PCAP?

Krinitsky—I got to know PCAP through my work with the U-M Carceral State Project, an interdisciplinary initiative that advances research, teaching, and advocacy on issues of criminal justice, policing, and incarceration. Several PCAP members have participated in that project and taught me about their incredible work. When the opportunity to become Interim Director arose, I was thrilled to get to be a part of PCAP! 

PCAP—What are your priorities this year as our Interim Director?

Krinitsky—My number one priority is to support all of PCAP’s many programs and ensure that we positively impact as many individuals as possible with our limited resources. I’m also excited to explore ways to sustainably fund PCAP for many years into our future. 

PCAP—As a PCAP director, you will be part of our 25th anniversary of the Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. How important it is to celebrate this mark? 

Krinitsky—It’s incredibly important. PCAP is one of the oldest continually running prison arts programs in the world and our community members do transformative work every day. It’s important to pause and acknowledge how unique that is. We deserve to celebrate! 

PCAP—What are you passionate about?

Krinitsky—I’m passionate about racial justice, feminism, and labor unionism--I try to live all three of these values every day. 

PCAP—What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now besides PCAP?

Krinitsky—I’m getting ready to compete in a national rowing competition in a few weeks! I start every morning on the Huron River in Ann Arbor practicing with my teammates. It’s a lot of fun!

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