[BONUS] My Answer to the Question, "What Do We Do With Derek Chauvin?"
An approach to incarceration with the goal of abolition.
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Last month,issued a challenge to his readers. In under 500 words, please explain “what should be done with Derek Chauvin, George Floyd’s murderer, from the standpoint of someone who believes in defunding the police, abolishing prisons, and similar.”
As a proponent of prison abolition and reformative justice, as well as someone who started this publication to explain the nuances of Leftist politics, I jumped at the opportunity. Below is my response.
I am a believer in the need to move towards the abolition of both police and prisons. I say “move towards abolition” because just like other systemic changes our country has made (women’s suffrage, abolition of child labor, etc.) it will not happen overnight. As someone who has spent a lot of time around cops, I can tell you the culture of American policing is broken. We can’t just replace the officers but need to end the mindset of the “Thin Blue Line” altogether.
A good place to start would be in emulating Georgia (the country, not the state), which rebuilt its entire police force in the 2000s. American cities should replace current cops with people who live in the community and have no previous ties to policing, and therefore none of its ideological baggage. Of course, police unions will fight this, so cities should defund them to eliminate the corrupted forces while creating new, untainted public safety forces in parallel.
To abolish prisons, we’ll need a generational project to understand why people commit crimes, then provide solutions that eliminate these root causes. Our goal is not to abolish prisons, but to abolish crime, rendering prisons obsolete.
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