An Abolitionist Horizon for Child Welfare

An Abolitionist Horizon for Child Welfare

The COVID-19 pandemic and police killings of George Floyd and other Black men and women have starkly revealed society’s race and class-based inequality and brought unprecedented attention to the excesses of the carceral state. One arm of punitive state regulation, however, has gone largely undiscussed: the “child welfare” system, which I call here, adapting Professor Dorothy…

Read Amna Akbar on the Abolitionist Moment at NYRB!

Read Amna Akbar on the Abolitionist Moment at NYRB!

We are assured Amna will have more to say here at the Blog, but for now check out her account of the abolitionist movement has developed into the type of coalition that can make real change in this moment. From the conclusion: “The struggle for abolition belongs to a broader push to rewrite the social…

On Reimagining State and Local Budgets in an Abolitionist Moment

On Reimagining State and Local Budgets in an Abolitionist Moment

For nearly three weeks now, masses around the country have taken the street to protest the violence that is routinely inflicted upon Black people by unaccountable police. Their demands for change, made in the tenor and tradition of abolitionist organizers, swiftly have coalesced into a shared refrain: Defund the police. Behind this demand is a…

Who Should Pay for Police Misconduct?

Who Should Pay for Police Misconduct?

George Floyd’s family will almost certainly bring a lawsuit against Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, the three officers on the scene who stood by, and the City as a whole. Assuming Floyd’s family prevails, who will foot the bill? And who should? In this transformative moment—during this nationwide conversation about what we empower the police to…

We Cannot Prosecute Our Way to Making Black Lives Matter

We Cannot Prosecute Our Way to Making Black Lives Matter

Cities across the country are in turmoil after the cold-blooded killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. While the protests are motivated by and calling for a range of solutions to the ongoing problem of police brutality, the loudest call is for accountability in the form of criminal charges against the officers involved…

Don’t Reform Policing, Transform It

Don’t Reform Policing, Transform It

A version of this post appeared on the Boston Review’s website yesterday. There is a distressing disconnect between the ringing demands for justice on the streets and the suite of “police reform” proposals that many experts say satisfy these demands. Protesters and social movements talk about divesting from policing and investing in black communities. They talk about ensuring that “the most impacted in our communities…

The Many Forms of Police Violence

The Many Forms of Police Violence

Over the past week, there has been unprecedented acknowledgment of the physical violence that Black people in America have faced, for generations, at the hands of police. While this is an important development, the work to eradicate police violence will not be complete if the public remains concerned only with the most visually and viscerally…