Abolitionist Practices, Reformist Moments

Rachel Herzing, Erica R. Meiners, and nuri nusrat

Despite campaign promises to restore “law and order,” the Trump administration might not be able to arrest the momentum of prison and policing reform movements, which intensified under the Obama administration with Black communities at the forefront of these struggles. However, across the US many reforms proposed by the state are far from innovative. They are instead deeply familiar—calls for more research data, police review boards, more “scientific” risk assessment tools. Other reforms reflect changing technologies and times: cops must wear body cameras. Importantly, these proposed reforms are fully compatible with a “law and order” agenda and do not challenge the prison industrial complex (PIC), the target of abolitionist movements.

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