We all want to live in safe, healthy communities. But prisons and policing do not keep us safe.
The U.S. annually spends about $80 billion to imprison people—and another $123 billion on policing. Yet we still have high rates of gun violence and sexual assault. Today over 1.8 million people are locked away, more per capita than any other country. And those arrested and incarcerated are disproportionately people of color and the poor. But what if we embraced community-based systems of accountability and supported local reentry programs instead?
It’s time to end our reliance on criminalization and retribution in the U.S.—and adopt transformative alternatives rooted in healing and human dignity.
AFSC has identified seven guideposts on the path toward abolition. Together, they light the way forward, serving as our “North Star.”
7. Replace policing with community-centered safety
Communities are innovating to end their reliance on police—and succeeding. Let’s move money out of police budgets to fund new approaches to public safety.