Beyond Criminalizing Domestic Violence

Illustration by Jay Davis (she/her) Editor’s Note: The effects of the coronavirus pandemic will take years to untangle. Already, scholars are raising alarms about increasing incidents of intimate partner violence (more colloquially known as “domestic violence”). This uptick is an anomaly: since the 1990s, rates of intimate partner violence have fallen, and many point to […]

“New Bones” Abolitionism, Communism, and Captive Maternals”

Illustration by Jay Davis (she/her) Editor’s Note: The effects of the coronavirus pandemic will take years to untangle. Already, scholars are raising alarms about increasing incidents of intimate partner violence (more colloquially known as “domestic violence”). This uptick is an anomaly: since the 1990s, rates of intimate partner violence have fallen, and many point to […]

New York City Has a Jail Problem

Opening new “borough-based” jails isn’t the answer. We need to try something different. Thinking you can reform incarceration by building four new jails in each borough is like thinking you can humanize slavery by breaking up a large plantation in Mississippi into four smaller plantations in Georgia, the Carolinas, and West Virginia,” said Kevin, as […]

Abolitionist Alternatives

Black radicalism and the refusal of reform This text is part of “Imagination and the Carceral State,” a series of essays organized by Joshua Bennett for Cabinet’s Kiosk platform. For his introduction to the portfolio, see here. The other texts in the series include Bennett’s “Wherever We Are Gathered,” “No Man’s Land” by Elleza Kelley, and […]

Abolition Is Not Merely a Demand, But a Long-Term Struggle

Recently, I received this text from a longtime comrade: “You’re not gonna believe this but the governor is on TV saying they are going to shut down all the juvenile prisons in Illinois.” Not exactly. This text, and the statement by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, was more than an overreach. Preliminary reporting on this announcement is fuzzy. […]

Aching for Abolition

By Camonghne Felix Original article found here  As a survivor of sexual violence, I know prison isn’t the answer. No one really asks a survivor what she wants. When a woman is raped, it becomes an assault on the state, not the person. She could decide that she would rather not pursue charges and the […]

To Stop Police Violence, We Need Better Questions — and Bigger Demands

It’s impossible to take the violence out of policing Once again, there is justified outrage at police acting to kill with impunity. I understand the anger and also feel rage. The lack of concern for Black life, though unsurprising, remains gutting. And yet, I hope that we’ve finally arrived at a moment when more people interrogate why so many of […]

Why These Sexual Assault Survivors Support Defunding The Police

As the rallying cry to “defund the police” reverberates across the country, some critics have claimed that women will be irrevocably harmed if police budgets are downsized, pointing specifically to sexual assault survivors. The argument, steeped in misogyny and antiquated ideas of what a victim looks like, uses crimes (largely but by no means exclusively) committed against women […]

What Is Abolition, And Why Do We Need It?

In the midst of nationwide uprisings against ongoing police murders of Black people, a new set of demands has been thrust into public consciousness: Defund and abolish the police, and invest in new models of safety and communal well-being. Rather than ask for better policing, protesters are demanding an end to policing and instead massive investments in the communities most […]

We Have Already Stopped Calling The Cops

It was the late ’90s when writer, activist, and educator Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, then living in Toronto, found themselves in an impossible situation. Their partner, who I’ll call “T,” had become physically abusive, but calling the police wasn’t an option. To begin, T was their immigration sponsor in Canada, and they worried that calling the […]