Police and Prison Abolition Committee

The Police and Prison Abolition Committee supports established efforts within the greater abolition movement, primarily in Arizona. In our work, we center Black leadership and the experiences of directly impacted people. We support abolition, not reform. As scientists, we target the role of racist science and technology in the prison industrial complex. We understand that traditional policymaking is but one tool in the fight for abolition, so we develop and support other advocacy and activism efforts as well.

Active Projects

We are advocating against the City of Tempe bond request to increase budget for armored vehicles, rifles, and enhanced surveillance tech. Tempe residents will vote on this in the November 2020 Special Bond Election.

We are supporting Mass Liberation AZ phone banking efforts leading up to the November 2020 General Election.

We are supporting the Ella Baker Center (Oakland, CA) in data entry for a project that will help inform plans to close two prisons in California in the next several years.

Some of our members are involved as individuals in the abolitionist orgs BLM Phx Metro Policy Ministry, the ASU Multicultural Solidarity Coalition, and Mutual Aid Phoenix/Tempe.

Past Projects

We wrote an open policy memo to Governor Doug Ducey, Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel, and Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone regarding reducing exposure to COVID-19 in the incarcerated population. 

We supported Mass Liberation AZ in researching local candidates’ stances relating to the criminal punishment system leading up to the November 2020 General Election.

We provided research support to an ASU undergraduate student effort to end ASU’s contract with Aramark.

On July 6th, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that “Students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.” We led an effort in collaboration with the American Geophysical Union to convince Arizona lawmakers and citizens of the cruelty and stupidity of ICE’s decision to disqualify international student from F1/M1 visa status if their university moves to an online-only model during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following document, “Open Letter to Repeal the ICE policy to refuse visas for online students during COVID”, along with our petition were circulated to bring pressure to lawmakers and Arizona State University.

Ways to Get Involved

Join our monthly committee meetings. Contact azscipolnet@gmail.com if you are not already receiving calendar invites. You can also ask to be added to the Slack channel, where we discuss ongoing work and inform each other of relevant events and actions.