For Organizers: How to Use this Site
If you are working to defund police and invest in greater safety for your community...
... consider expanding your campaign to include demands to divest from criminal courts:
- LEARN more about the potential pitfalls of investments in pre-trial, probation, and court-based “alternatives to incarceration” and diversion programs
- Find out how much your city or state spends on criminal courts here
- Head over to the ACT section to learn more about organizing to defund courts.
- Use the materials and questions in the IMAGINE section to engage your organization and community in a process of dreaming new approaches to preventing, uncovering, and transforming harm and conflict.
It’s election season...
...shouldn’t we be organizing to elect better prosecutors who will put fewer people behind bars?
Shouldn’t we be organizing to make the system more fair now...
...even as we work to dismantle it in the long term?
- Many common criminal court reforms actually pour more power, money, and legitimacy into prosecutors, judges, and court-mandated programs, and increase the reach of the criminal punishment system. LEARN more about which ones will bring us closer to defunding, divesting and moving beyond criminal courts and which ones only re-entrench systems of inequality, policing and punishment.
Sure, we need to get rid of criminal courts in the long term...
...but our people are caught up in the criminal punishment system NOW - how can we support them?
- Learn more about how criminal courts work - and where we can organize to put pressure on criminal court players through organizing to support criminalized people and communities in Criminal Courts 101.
- While courts exist, they remain sites of contestation. At each step of a court case, there are ways to shift power away from the system and towards people and communities through grassroots, abolitionist interventions like cop watching, court watching, bail outs and community bail funds, participatory defense campaigns and hubs, and jury nullification.
- Do a teach in with your organization or community on criminal courts and brainstorm how you can reduce their resources, power and reach!