Carceral Feminism at a Crossroad

Carceral Feminism at a Crossroad

In this watershed moment when policymakers feel liberated to embrace noncarceral responses to the behaviors that laws label crimes, one question rings out: “What about rape and domestic violence?” The pro-policing contingent intends this as a rhetorical “gotcha.” But many progressives open to meaningful reform genuinely worry about the demise of gender crime law, which they see as a formidable legal tool against the patriarchy.

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…

Gideon and the Promise of Right to Counsel

Gideon and the Promise of Right to Counsel

This week, we’re sharing two discussions on John Whitlow’s recently published article reflecting on New York’s right to counsel in evictions proceedings. Our contributors share visions of right to counsel that move beyond due process rights. The contributors show that right to counsel campaigns are part of broader movements that seek to address the material deprivation underlying the…

After Money Bail: Lifting the Veil on Pretrial Detention

After Money Bail: Lifting the Veil on Pretrial Detention

Click here to read all posts in our Money Bail series, including the introductory post presenting an LPE perspective on pretrial detention. Ending money bail will not itself produce an effective and just pretrial system. The wonderful prior posts in this series have explored several reasons why this is so. I would like to add one more: Ending…

Reading Bail Reform Through a Critical Race Lens

Reading Bail Reform Through a Critical Race Lens

Click here to read all posts in our Money Bail series, including the introductory post presenting an LPE perspective on pretrial detention. Recent years have seen an explosion in calls to reform bail laws across the country. California and New York, among other states, witnessed the launch of grassroots campaigns made up of, and led by,…