(LAWI-4140) - 2 UNITS

The continuation of police abuse and prison scandals has reaffirmed abolitionist calls for an end to policing and prisons. Rather than relying on police and prisons as a solution, prison and police abolitionists are interested in building relationships, programming, and social infrastructure that eliminates the need for policing and prisons in the first place. As prison abolitionist and scholar Ruthie Gilmore says: "Abolition is about presence, not absence. It?s about building life-affirming institutions." What does the creation of such "life-affirming institutions" look like? This class will first conduct a brief survey of the racial history of policing and prisons in the United States. We will thereafter explore abolitionist efforts by speaking with abolitionist activists from across the country.