Policing and Criminalization Archives - Page 9 of 14 - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Policing and Criminalization

Advancement Project's Justice Project supports grassroots movements in communities of color that challenge systems of policing, incarceration, and criminalization.

Communities of color across the United States are under siege by an unforgiving criminal legal system. This system is made possible by racist laws that criminalize even the most minor actions, powerful and expansive law enforcement that harass, assault and murder with impunity, biased prosecutors and judges that make discretionary decisions, and a carceral system that serves as a disposal system.

In order for our communities to thrive, we need to divest from local policing and incarceration systems and invest in community resources like education, mental health, housing and employment. Our communities need more control and voice to create transformative change in our laws, institutions, and narratives that shape how we view and practice safety.

Advancement Project’s Justice Project supports grassroots movements in communities of color that challenge racial criminalization and attack all aspects of the criminal legal system, forefronting police. We help local campaigns seeking not simply to reform, but to wholly dismantle systems that criminalize and incarcerate people of color in the name of “law and order.” We support racial justice grassroots organizers through research, policy advocacy, litigation, political education, and strategic communications in cities across the country. We aim to help impacted communities define the terms and control the means by which safety is realized in their streets and neighborhoods and to re-imagine for themselves how safety is pursued.

The Justice Project’s work has included supporting grassroots groups in: challenging Stop & Frisk tactics and cash bail; implementing bail outs; closing jails and fighting expansions; training lawyers to represent survivors of police violence; and seeking release of people detained pretrial in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

We also work to shift narratives around safety through strategic communications in an effort to create new models for safety, while dismantling existing structures of white supremacy, including creating narrative shifting content like How Cops Get Off. How Cops Get Off is a three-part animated video series developed by the Advancement Project. Narrated by our board member, Jesse Williams, each four-minute video in the series breaks down a major structure in our culture and laws that keep cops in power and unaccountable: the dominant narratives in tv shows, movies, and news, the protectors within our criminal legal system like prosecutors and police associations, and the laws that shield cops from accountability like qualified immunity.

History of Justice Project:

Advancement Project has long collaborated with organizers and activists to combat the systemic racism of the criminal legal system. We have pioneered work to expose and end the school-to-prison pipeline and school-based arrests, including building and nurturing a grassroots movement of parents and youth. After Amadou Diallo was murdered by police d in New York City, we published a report with PolicyLink on promising community policing practices in an effort to provide tools to organizers challenging police policies and practices. For several years thereafter, Advancement Project supported a group of ministers as they sought reform of NYPD, providing legal, policy, organizing and communications assistance. Advancement Project relied upon its skill as an emergency responder to assist the Dream Defenders after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, staying with them during the 31-day takeover of the Florida capitol during which time we provided communications support and drafted Trayvon’s Law, a proposal developed by young people. Similarly, in Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, and Charlotte, Advancement Project staff provided crisis response and longer-term capacity-building support to local organizations.

These pivotal moments generated a new wave of movement resistance against racist policing practices as well as the entire criminal legal system. While systemic reform has gained mainstream support in the wake of high-profile police killings, these efforts did not go far enough. Reforms lacked an authentic connection to organizing, forcing communities to rely on system actors to implement the changes. As a result, the criminal legal system simply recalibrated to reproduce the same results. Further, many politicians have turned back the clock and fortified the police state in communities of color. In response, Advancement Project continues to support local grassroots efforts in challenging policing and incarceration systems.

Event: In Conversation: The Politics of Abolition Friday, May 31, 2019 in Washington, DC

By Zerline Hughes

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JP Morgan Chase Takes Stand on Banking Private Prisons

On JP Morgan Chase’s decision…

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Close the Workhouse Campaign Holds Rally to Demand Release of Men Trapped in the Workhouse

Following reports of extreme cold and continued inhumane conditions at St. Louis City’s jail, the Workhouse, advocates gather to demand the release of David Dixon and Jeffrey Rozelle

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Close the Workhouse

Kicking off the national movement to end pre-trial detention and end the country’s reliance on incarceration starts on a local, grassroots level.

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Lawsuit Filed to Challenge St. Louis City’s Unconstitutional Cash Bail System

“We are attacking the City of St. Louis’ illegal procedures used to jail more than 1,000 people solely because of their inability to make a cash payment to purchase their freedom.”

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‘The Hate U Give’: Another Resource in the Youth Organizing Toolkit

By Drew Ambrogi

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Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder of 17-Year-Old Laquan McDonald

Today, a jury found Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in the murder 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Advancement Project’s national office released the following statement:

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Send future youth organizers to see The Hate U Give!

Can you contribute today to help us host screenings of The Hate U Give for future youth organizers?

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6 Things You Need to Know about School Policing

By Drew Ambrogi

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We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for Police-Free Schools

Safety does not exist when Black & Brown young people are forced to interact with a system of policing that views them as a threat and not as students.

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#TakeAKnee: Supporting the Protests of Professional Athletes

Supporting athletes that advocate for change to our country’s unjust policing practices.

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