Become a Member

We are a public forum committed to collective reasoning and the imagination of a more just world. Join today to help us keep the discussion of ideas free and open to everyone, and enjoy member benefits like our quarterly books.

Search Website
AdobeStock_281081844

Special Project

Power over Policing

Police abolition has entered the public consciousness with full force and considerable support.

Alongside select archival essays, this special project features lawyers, activists, historians and more responding to the demands of the 2020 uprisings. They not only boldly imagine an abolitionist future without police and prisons, but outline the steps needed to get us there.

Dan Berger Jalil Muntaqim Black Panthers incarceration
Dan Berger

Jalil Muntaqim, a Black Panther imprisoned since 1971, is one of thousands of elderly prisoners the United States has refused to free during the pandemic.

Garrett Felber Bayard Bustin police abolition
Garrett Felber

Prison and police abolition were key to the thinking of many midcentury civil rights activists. Understanding why can help us ask for change in our own time.

25985958646_e8ddae2be5_c
Gili Kliger

Police brutality is not isolated and exceptional. As Chicago’s decades-long history of police torture illustrates, it is built into the systemic nature of racial violence.

15300921307_b85a1b673b_c
Jocelyn Simonson

Reform efforts will fail. Only a power shift to communities can improve public safety.

49960372132_3a73981714_c
Scholars for Social Justice

These protests are too widespread to go away. There will be no peace without justice on multiple fronts.

Derecka Purnell

Abolition is not about transforming the police, it is about transforming the nation.

policeviolence1
Tracey L. Meares

Policing as we know it must be abolished before it can be transformed.

GearyKerner_feature
Daniel Geary

Bad police were not simply a symptom of racism. They were often its agents.

Boston Review is nonprofit and reader funded.

Contributions from readers enable us to provide a public space, free and open, for the discussion of ideas. Join this effort – become a supporting reader today

Sign Up for Our
Newsletter

Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox