The pain point of mental health and criminal justice is where we as a culture make some of the most egregious errors. Many communities are beginning to change that culture by prioritizing Care Not Cuffs.
We want to acknowledge district attorneys, sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors, and commissioners who are dedicated to shifting the country away from mass incarceration and toward health, prosperity, and justice for all.
These heroes are shaping the landscape we’d like to see—prioritizing health promotion, disease prevention, a clinical response to mental health needs, pathways to health care for people who need them—and showing how public safety partners can be valuable co-advocates for realizing these outcomes.
Care Not Cuffs in Schools
Children’s disruptive behavior is often an indicator of a mental health need rather than an inclination to delinquency and criminality. School staff should be well-trained in recognizing and supporting children’s developmental needs.
- Example 1: Padres Y Jovenes Unidos – report card for DPS tracking the utilization of harsh disciplinary practices
- Example 2 – School districts (denver?) removed school resource officers – this has been done in Minneapolis and Portland
- https://time.com/5848959/school-contracts-police/ (According to an analysis, 1.7 million students attend school with police officers but no counselors)
- the Alliance for Educational Justice is working with organizers in about 20 cities to push their school districts to take similar action, including Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
- Dekaila Wilson, who graduated from a New York City high school in 2018 and works with the youth activist group IntegrateNYC, launched a petition Monday to end school policing, which has more than 17,000 signatures. She says police were a “constant” presence at her high school in the Bronx, and she worries that her younger brothers in elementary and high school are more likely to face discipline as black boy
- Jose Eduardo Ramos-Valdez, a senior at Linda Abril Educational Academy in Phoenix, joined the Puente Movement’s youth-led #CopsOuttaCampus campaign during his freshman year