New Leitner Clinic Report – Defund the Police: Refunding Communities and Creating an Anti-Carceral Society

The defund the police/invest-divest movement envisions a future where all communities have enough government-funded resources to be healthy and safe from violence, including from state violence in the form of police brutality. The Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic has released a new report calling for reductions in police budgets and greater investments in social and economic community resources that will help communities thrive and increase public safety. The report highlights the long-standing efforts of grassroots organizers, activists, and service providers that provide concrete examples of holistic alternatives to policing in the form of reduction of police budgets and investment in social and economic resources for underserved communities, violence interrupter programs, police-free schools and restorative justice, mental health crisis intervention teams, drug decriminalization and harm reduction programs, state-sponsored reparations for survivors of police violence, transformative justice interventions for gender- based violence, decriminalization of sex work, and community bailout funds. In addition to highlighting some of the work, achievements, and challenges of anti-carceral advocates, the report also debunks misconceptions about policing in the United States and the failed promises of police “reform.”

The report was researched and authored by Leitner Clinic students Shivangi Bhatia, Jay Brodska, Alex Forgione, Mirelis Gonzalez, and Abdulai Turay. The report was supervised and edited by Professor Chi Adanna Mgbako.

Read the report.