For decades, state and local law enforcement agencies have wreaked havoc on Californians of color through racial profiling, uses of force, and economic extraction. As a result, these communities – especially Black people – routinely experience dehumanization, physical harm, mental and emotional trauma, and entrenched poverty. Reimagine Justice & Safety works to prevent this from occurring by (1) advocating for enhanced law enforcement accountability systems and (2) reducing the need for law enforcement by building out an ecosystem of care-centered safety solutions.
Law enforcement officers are vested with extraordinary powers. They impose fines and fees, legally detain people, inflict a wide array of physical harm, take people’s freedom, and kill community members. All too often, officers face little to no accountability when they misuse their authority and engage in misconduct. As a result, they are not meaningfully deterred from harming community members, racially biased practices persist, and communities of color continue to live in fear of police violence. Reimagine Justice & Safety works to transform law enforcement accountability systems to offset such unchecked power and better protect Californians of color from harm.
Decrease the Role of Law Enforcement
The role of law enforcement has grown exponentially over time, along with astounding budgets that drain state and local revenues. Rather than focusing on serious crimes and true threats to community safety, law enforcement is responsible for addressing an expansive array of quality-of-life issues that they are not fit to handle. To address this problem, Reimagine Justice & Safety advocates to decrease the role of law enforcement in communities. Rather than having officers address nearly every social problem, we aim to build an ecosystem of care-based services and supports that prevent harm from occurring and address the root causes of safety concerns. A new, common-sense approach to safety would prioritize supporting unhoused people through outreach workers and permanent supportive housing. It would make behavioral health professionals first responders to mental health crises. And, marginalized communities would have more organizers, equity advocates, and violence interventionists than police and probation officers.