Alternatives to Policing
This memo assesses the current landscape of work surrounding police abolition and reviews alternatives to policing in the context of police abolitionist frameworks, offering insight and sharing successful strategies for advocates in the field. This memo also offers several recommendations for advocates, activists, and organizers working on alternatives to policing as well as a list of resources. As communities develop strategies for keeping themselves safe from various threats and for managing various crises and emergencies, they also focus on harm from policing, including police violence and police harassment. Communities have approached this in several ways. Some advocates and organizations, such as Critical Resistance, argue that police and policing needs to be abolished altogether in order to recreate a model of public safety that is not centered on punishment and control. Some advocates argue for implementing a divest/invest framework that includes defunding of police and reinvestment of those funds in developing community infrastructure, such as community-based violence intervention, hospitals, jobs, mental health programs, and schools. This approach targets the underlying causes of harm and builds out alternatives to existing models of public safety.