About Abby's Work

Abby Cunniff studies environmental justice and California prisons, from the physical infrastructure of prisons to the labor that incarcerated people carry out in public works and conservation. Her public scholarship has focused on pressing issues that incarcerated people face due to prison conditions and climate change, while her academic work has focused on understanding prisons as part of larger structures of climate adaptation labor and carceral geographies.

Her dissertation project is a labor history of California’s prison fire camp program from 1970-2020. As a Global Community Health Fellow, she was able to interview several people who participated in the prison fire camp program during the 2020 fire season.