Defund, Reform, or Abolish?
There is a lot of confusion regarding the meaning of these terms and many people often use them interchangeably, however there are key differences between them. All three recognize that today’s current public safety practices and policies are inefficient and ill- equipped to deal with the complexity of social problems facing our society, including race relationships, homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, etc. However, the mechanism for driving change is what differentiates these ideas.
Police Reform
The organizing principle of police reform is the idea that the institution of police is perfectible. Police reformers believe that the current policing system can be modified to enable police to better address these complex issues. Detractors of police reform argue that the very system policing in the United States was built on, makes it impossible for it to be reformed to the degree required to address today’s social ills.
Defunding the Police
"Defund the police" is an American slogan that supports divesting funds from police departments and reallocating them to non-policing forms of public safety and community support, such as social services, youth services, housing, education, healthcare and other community resources. Many supporters of Defunding the Police believe there is still a need for a reformed police force, however the focus of this force would be on a much narrower mandate, requiring a much smaller police force. The savings resulting in a smaller force would then be used to fund other social service programs that are better equipped to deal with non-criminal behavior.
Police Abolition
Replacing policing with other systems of public safety. Police abolitionists believe that the very foundation our policing system is built on is inherently flawed and therefore no amount of reform or defunding would sufficiently address the issues. They are in favor of eliminating the modern concept of police and replacing it with a system that is built on decriminalization and social welfare / support programs. recognizes that understanding these concepts is important to having meaningful productive conversations. Our mission is focused on police accountability, particularly on specific cases of police abuse and rights infringement.
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