In all honesty, I picked up this book because I wanted to get to the bottom of the term, “Defund the Police.” It was something that scared me because I thought, well don’t we need the police? But like most slogans, it’s just a down bite that has more meaning and nuances then simply defunding the police. So I more or less knew it meant more, but I wanted to know exactly how much more?
The book has really opened up my eyes to all the things the police are involved in that they don’t, or better yet, shouldn’t be involved in, like education, homelessness prevention, mental illness, etc. There are also some controversial topics mentioned, for example, decriminalizing sex work and the true origins of the police (was the practice of policing really created to protect and serve?). I think overall though, the author’s main argument is that there are alternative (and more effective) ways of dealing with most of the issues in our society. He also dives even deeper to say that modern day police do not actually solve any of these issues, instead, they shuffle them around between the prison system and the outskirts of society.
If you’d like a short and sweet explanation of what it would mean to defund the police, you can read this article by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), titled Defunding the Police Will Actually Make Us Safer.
If policing and the criminal justice system as a whole interest you, I highly recommend listening to season 4 of Hi Phi Nation, titled Crime and Punishment.