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Insurgent safety: Theorizing alternatives to state protection

In the United States, public safety is embraced as an unquestioned social good. Broadly speaking, the criminal justice system is tasked with administering and maintaining public safety through the use of law enforcement, the courts, and prisons. First, through a focus on racialized police violence,...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: McDowell, Meghan G.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:Theoretical criminology
Year: 2019, Volume: 23, Issue: 1, Pages: 43-59
Online Access: Resolving-System
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Summary:In the United States, public safety is embraced as an unquestioned social good. Broadly speaking, the criminal justice system is tasked with administering and maintaining public safety through the use of law enforcement, the courts, and prisons. First, through a focus on racialized police violence, this article develops a critique of the dominant model of public safety practiced in the United States—identified herein as ‘carceral safety'. Second, through an analysis of findings from the (Re)imagining Public Safety Project (RPSP), this article seeks to sketch out an alternative model and practice of safety that does not rely on banishment, policing, or mass criminalization. In contradistinction to the forms of state protection exercised under the seemingly innocuous rhetoric of ‘public safety', RPSP participants conceptualized what I am calling ‘insurgent safety': locally determined, anti-capitalist practices and ethics for reducing, and responding to harm.
ISSN:1461-7439