Abolition: The political vision that seeks to create a society that imagines ways to address harm and conflict beyond punishment and incarceration. It is about not simply the absence of prisons and policing, but the presence of new infrastructure, social networks and institutions that are not structured through violence, domination, racial capitalism and disposability. 

Ableism: Oppression faced by Disabled people, or those perceived as Disabled, and/or people who fall outside of the accepted definitions of normal.

Autonomy: The ability and right of a person to exercise control over their own body free of state control.


Coercion: The ability to force another person to achieve a desired end.


Decriminalize: To stop treating something as a criminal offense.

Disability Justice: A framework for liberation that seeks to end ableism in connection with ending all other forms of oppression.


Harm Reduction: A framework for finding safer ways to practice risky behaviors.  It further affirms a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people when they engage in risky behavior.  It is a philosophy that can be applied as a daily practice for everyone, just for high risk situations.   

Healing Justice: A framework that identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene in generational trauma and violence and bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.

Healthism: A value system in which people who differ from normative standards of health (rooted in racism, capitalism, ageism, ableism, and transphobia) are subject to systems of punishment and exclusion. Instead of addressing and relieving structural barriers to healing, non-coercive, community-centered health care, healthism enforces systems that blame and harm the individual for experiencing illness and distress.


Mad Maps: Wellness documents that we create for ourselves to promote wellness through reminders of our goals, what is important to us, our personal signs of struggle, and our strategies for self-determined well-being.

Mandatory Reporting: The legal requirement for professionals to report crimes, abuse or self-harm to legal authorities.

Medicalize: To treat a justice issue as a medical problem.

Medical Industrial Complex: The network of corporations which supply health care services and products for a profit and at the expense of promoting care and wellness.


Neurodivergent: Having a brain or mental processing that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.” It is based on the assumption that there are naturally occurring diversities in how brains function that do not require a “cure.”


Prison Industrial Complex: The overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.

Pathologize: To treat something or someone as unhealthy or abnormal and in need of being “cured.”

Pod Map: A document used to describe the creation of relationships between people who would turn to each other for support around violent, harmful and abusive experiences.

Punitive: Addressing harm or conflict through punishment.


Safety Plan: A document that supports and guides someone when they are experiencing abuse, crisis, or harm.

Sanism: The oppression of and stigma against people who are perceived to be Neurodivergent, and the cultural drive to be seen as sane/rational/mentally normal.


Transformative Justice: A framework for addressing harm that 1) creates new systems of governance and social relations that reduce harm in the first place and 2) relies on processes for addressing harm that attempt to transform the social conditions that gave rise to that harm.