Abolishing Prisons: Should America Trade Its Criminal Justice System for a Social Justice System?

Abolishing Prisons: Should America Trade Its Criminal Justice System for a Social Justice System?

By Steve Pomper

Many years ago, I had a county prosecutor tell me he was not charging a suspect who’d threatened me, and other officers, with a knife, during a domestic violence incident. They chose to route him through the mental health system, which was appropriate. However, as for his reasoning, he said that was “a part of my job.”

I understood what he meant; it’s not a crime if someone commits it against a cop, but that doesn’t make it less warped. I got the impression, even if he hadn’t diverted toward mental health system, he still wouldn’t have prosecuted. This flawed perspective was a problem 25 years ago; it’s a crisis today.

But that was just one prosecutor among many other fine attorneys. Today, elected city and county prosecutors and district attorneys are entering office with anti-police, anti-rule of law agendas as components of their official campaign platforms.

Here are just three leftist luminaries from across America:

Suffolk County (Boston) DA Rachael Rollins entered office armed with a plan to “decriminalize” fifteen offenses—including resisting arrest.

The Seattle police chief once personally sent the city attorney, Pete Holmes, a packet of files of over two dozen chronic street-criminals for prosecution. Holmes declined the chief’s request.

And, sadly, we also have examples even in Texas. Dallas DA John Creuzot also “won’t prosecute ‘low level’ crimes like theft and felony drug possession.”

One problem? People keep voting for folks like these. In fact, in progressive jurisdictions, many police supporters who feel intimidated by the vicious anti-cop factions, have given up voting. They believe their votes don’t count—just like the anti-cop activists want. So, the cops must cope with the results: elections have consequences.

Police officers look at the chaotic world in which their communities expect them to work. They see elected officials at all levels of government, ostensibly in charge of law and order, of making the laws, and of supporting public safety, doing things that result in the exact opposite. Instead, rather than protecting, they’re putting people in jeopardy.

At the highest levels, many sitting members of Congress have made it clear they don’t like law enforcement officers of any kind. And now some are even calling for a complete dismantling of the American criminal justice system as we know it. Apparently, they want to replace it with a social justice system.

For example, Seattle operates what it calls navigation teams to deal with the many “homeless encampments” plaguing the city. Essentially, the navigation team is comprised of social workers and employees from various city departments. The team exists to clean up “homeless” camps while simultaneously offering services to those who want them.

FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson recently interviewed Seattle radio talk show host, Jason Rantz. Rantz said two city council members, open socialist Kshama Sawant and not-yet-ready-to-say-it-out-loud socialist, Lisa Herbold, want to defund the navigation team. Carlson asked Rantz why any politician would oppose a navigation team that help the homeless?

Rantz told Carlson it was because the team includes police officers. Sawant, who has called Seattle cops racist murderers, and Herbold oppose the teams because they don’t like that one element, the police, are, after services have been offered and accepted or declined, conducting a “sweep” (clear out) of what are the toxic waste dumps people like Sawant and Herbold want to allow people to live in. Navigation teams have cleaned up hundreds of tons of garbage from the encampments.

Many elected officials all across the nation are now entering office with an anti-police agenda. They not only want to coddle criminals and make life difficult for officers, now they’re looking to abolish parts of the criminal justice system altogether.

For example, not only are many, including elected politicians, advocating for abolishing ICE, refusing to prosecute “survival crimes,” and provide taxpayer funds to bail out prisoners, now, they want to go even further.

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently said the prison system should be abolished. She claims it would solve the problem of what she calls “mass incarceration” and compares criminal incarceration to “slavery.” The term mass incarceration is saturated with racist insinuations.

AOC tweeted, “Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery.” Ocasio-Cortez added, “To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country.” What color is the sky in her world? It sure isn’t blue.

To demonstrate her tenuous grasp on reality, she also tweeted, “I know the term ‘prison abolition’ is breaking some people’s brains,” and “The right is already freaking out.”

Some people’s brains? Freaking out? So, calling someone out on their radical lunacy now amounts to “freaking out.” I’m hearing a lot from the left about abolishing prisons but not a lot about what they plan as a substitute. But isn’t just like law enforcement critics to always promise Utopia but instead delivery misery?

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