Brian Highsmith Issues Call to Action: Defund Our Punishment Bureaucracy – Divest in Mass Criminalization and Invest in Communities

Brian Highsmith ('17), a fiscal policy researcher currently in residence at Yale Law School's Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law, published pieces in The American Prospect and on the Law and Political Economy (LPE) Blog pressing for the adoption of alternatives to militarized policing in a time of pandemic-strained state and local budgets ("Defund Our Punishment Bureaucracy," June 2). Brian also discussed dismantling unjust social and economic systems by redistributing public resources ("On Reimagining State and Local Budgets in an Abolitionist Moment," June 15). "The oppressive systems of punishment and social control that we've constructed are rooted deep; to unwind these structures, we will need to use every tool available. … If our work is not part of the larger project of challenging those systems—and the ways in which power and opportunity are unjustly allocated across our society—it will not be enough."