Getting your feet wet: digestible and accessible material to start your understanding of abolition
Abolitionist Social Work
“Social Workers Belong in Police Departments” Is an Offensive Statement
The suggestion that social workers should join precincts denies the reality that this strategy will not fundamentally change even one of the myriad harms inflicted, on the very communities we claim to serve, by police. There is little evidence that our presence will reduce their disproportionate use of lethal force against Black, Latinx and Indigenous people; it will not prevent them from patrolling certain communities over others while serving the interests of gentrifiers; it will not demilitarize them; and it will not hold them accountable for misconduct or abuse.
Creating New Anchors: An Introduction to Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Abolition
Durrell Malik Washington, Sr. and Sharlyn Grace
Syllabus for an Intro to PIC abolition course being offered at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago.
Is Social Work Obsolete?
Kassandra Frederique & Michelle Grier
This talk explores the historical and contemporary harms of the social work profession and asks whether it is capable of transformation, or if it is irreparable and in fact obsolete.
Abolitionist Social Work: Possibilities, Paradox and Praxis
Tanisha "Wakumi" Douglas, Mimi Kim, Kirk "Jae" James and Cameron Rasmussen
Social work, historically and today, has been deeply embedded in systems of carceral control. With social work's legacy of ties to policing and oppressive family regulation through the child welfare system, the social work community is actively imagining and working towards a social work rooted in abolition, turning to traditions of resistance that also characterize its history.
Trading Cops for Social Workers Isn’t the Solution to Police Violence
Cameron Rasmussen & Kirk “Jae” James
To transform social work, we must first reckon with how it is carried out now, as well as within the past. Social work’s reckoning must include confronting our complicity in colonization, in racial capitalism and the logics of neoliberalism, and in our relationship to the carceral state, all of which have become core to social work practice.
The Ethical Conflict of Social Work Within a Carceral System
At a time when old systems are being exposed as racist, cruel and unjust, social workers must think hard about where we choose to be aligned.
Family Regulation System
Abolishing Policing Also Means Abolishing Family Regulation
Dorothy Roberts provides a short overview of why the child welfare system should really be called the family regulation system and why including CPS in defund police proposals is antithetical to abolition.
Mandated Supporting Module
Social Workers Against Mandates
A student group at Columbia School of Social Work compiled a guide advocating mandated supporting as the needed abolitionist framework to combat the racist criminalization of communities that the family regulation system creates.
Family Surveillance: A Future without Foster Care
Erin Miles Cloud, Kathleen Creamer, Joyce McMillan & Dorothy Roberts
All-star panelists of some of the women leading the charge against the family regulation system.
What You Need to Know About ACS: Parents’ Rights When Dealing With the NYC Administration for Children’s Services
The Center for Urban Pedagogy
This poster breaks down the complex and difficult to navigate ACS investigation process, so parents know what’s coming, and provides the tools to help parents know when and how to assert their rights.
Policing by Another Name: Mandated Reporting as State Surveillance
Charity Tolliver, Fallon Speaker, Shrounda Selivanoff, Elena Gormley
Webinar that provides a really great history of how the family regulation system came to be. Slides: https://www.povertylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/spotlight-foster-system-webinar-2-policing.pdf
Justice in America Episode 23: Criminalizing Mothers
Hosts: Josie Duffy Rice & Zak Cheney-Rice
Josie Duffy Rice and guest co-host Zak Cheney-Rice talk with Emma Ketteringham, the managing director of the Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice, about the relationship between the criminal justice system and family court, and how together they can wreak havoc on American families.
Biden and Immigration: How to Push the Administration on Immigrant Rights
Palika Makam and Genia Blaser
Growing up black and undocumented in a heavily policed neighborhood is often a ticket to the prison-to-deportation pipeline.
Immigration Detention Is Part of Mass Incarceration: The Case For Abolishing ICE and Everything Else
This op-ed offers some actionable steps we can take to advance immigrant rights and push back against unjust policies.
Ousman Darboe could be deported any day. His story is a common one for black immigrants.
Join Amna Akbar, Aziz Rana, Darakshan Raja, and Silky Shah for a discussion of how the War on Terror fuels our deportation machine and how to dismantle both.
Mental Health + Disability Justice
Defund the Police - Invest in Community Care
Mimi E. Kim, Megyung Chung, Shira Hassan, Andrea J. Ritchie
The primary purpose of this guide is to serve as a pragmatic tool for individuals and communities organizing and advocating for non-police mental health crisis responses, and to offer key considerations for what can be a complex, costly, and long-term intervention strategy.
Disability Justice and Abolition
Elliot Fukui breaks down abolition from a disability lense while providing abolitionist resources for supporting peoples with psychiatric disabilities.
We Don’t Need Cops to Become Social Workers: We Need Peer Support + Community Response Networks
Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu
“Replace the cops with mental health workers!” is a really well-intentioned statement, but the current mental health system is also a white-dominated, violent, coercive, and unaccountable structure that disproportionately harms people of color.” — Morgan M. Page
Criminal Legal System
Angela Davis Spotify Playlist
Listen to some Angela Davis talks on Spotify
On the Road With Abolition: Assessing Our Steps Along the Way
Dean Spade, Woods Ervin, Kamau Walton, K Agbebiyi & Mariame Kaba
Watch this conversation to deepen our shared analysis and to discuss how we use abolition as a politic, practice and framework to move us toward liberation and self-determination.
Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind
Not sure if prisons are necessary? Have Ruth WIlson Gilmore give you the run down.
Justice in America Episode 20: Mariam Kaba and Prison Abolition
Hosts: Josie Duffy Rice & Clint Smith
For those of as that have too many bookmarked articles that we'd promised ourselves we'd read later, here's a podcast epside where Mariam Kaba breaks down what abolition means to her. Transcript available.