Review by Booklist Review
America has a policing problem. The billions of dollars poured into police departments have failed to produce safety for the most marginalized individuals and communities. Kaba (We Do This 'Til We Free Us, 2021) and Ritchie (Invisible No More, 2017), dedicated advocates of police abolition, argue that the system as it stands cannot be reformed, and that we cannot achieve safety without divesting from the police industrial complex that has wrought so much violence and deprivation. Instead, the authors argue, we must invest in policies to ensure that every person can access housing, education, adequate food and clean water, and health care (including mental health care). The abolitionist vision does not aim to identify broad or universally applicable policy solutions to problems like domestic violence or child sexual abuse. Recognizing that these problems cannot be solved by more policing, the authors encourage individuals to form communities of mutual aid to dream of and work for solutions that draw on transformative justice principles rather than punishment: "We don't need to have all the answers right now in order to start building the world we want." No More Police is a passionate, eloquent condemnation of the carceral policies and mindsets that have long governed America.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
In the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, calls to defund the police flooded the country. Activists and police abolitionists Kaba (Abolition for the People) and Ritchie (Invisible No More) offer an impassioned and bold call to abolish police forces. According to the authors, the police are an actively harmful force; their presence adds violence into already tense situations and does not contribute to community safety or security. They posit police reform does nothing to curb the violence in an inherently violent system. The authors argue the billions of dollars annually poured into police coffers should be rerouted into community programs that build safer neighborhoods. Extensively sourced and deeply researched, the chapters are organized in such a way that readers can easily explore various topics. The authors do not offer easy solutions and acknowledge that while there are many difficulties, they firmly believe that there is a way forward to safe and violence-free communities. VERDICT Kaba and Ritchie's provocative position may not convince all readers, but their arguments are worth considering. This book will appeal to readers interested in social justice, activism, and police reform.--Chad E. Statler
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Two seasoned activists make a convincing case for defunding the police. As Kaba and Ritchie note, defunding "means investing the billions currently poured into policing and the prison-industrial complex into community-based safety strategies: meeting basic needs that include housing, health care, access to care for disabled people, childcare, elder care, a basic guaranteed income, and accessible, sustainable living-wage jobs." The authors use three main arguments. First, they show how policing endangers, rather than protects, America's most vulnerable communities. Second, they claim that calls for reforming the police--rather than abolition--are futile because the inherent violence of policing makes it impossible to reform. Finally, they argue that there are more effective ways to promote safety. "We call for abolition of police because, despite all of the power, resources and legitimacy we pour into them, they cannot and will not deliver safety," they write. Kaba and Ritchie begin by showing how police manufacture crimes by focusing on making most of their arrests in certain "hot spots"--which, they argue, is code for brown and Black neighborhoods--while ignoring others. This perpetuates a culture of "fearmongering" that politicians use to divert funds to police and away from social services programs that have been proven to prevent violence. The authors urge a shift to an "abundance mindset," in which the government stops using resources to punish marginalized populations and instead uses them to meet every American's needs. Furthermore, they urge us to listen to survivors, who often encounter violence in the very systems that are allegedly set up to protect them. Kaba and Ritchie are knowledgeable, passionate, and skilled at elucidating complex concepts clearly, without sacrificing nuance. The book is deeply researched and flawlessly argued, and the plan they lay out is practical, compassionate, and circumspect. A brilliantly articulated plan to abolish the police. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.