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Selective De-Policing: Stanford Law Policy Lab Report Proposes Alternatives to Policing to Increase

April 13, 2021

By Stephanie Ashe

Stanford, CA, April 13, 2021 – The Stanford Criminal Justice Center (SCJC) and Stanford Center for Racial Justice (SCRJ), in partnership with the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), released a report, Safety Beyond Policing: Promoting Care Over Criminalization, that summarized the most successful “selective de-policing” techniques and offered alternatives to armed police intervention. The report comes from a policy practicum Selective De-Policing: Operationalizing Concrete Reforms, co-taught by Stanford Law Professors Ralph Richard Banks, David Sklansky and Robert Weisberg, along with Debbie Mukamal, SCJC executive director.

“The idea behind the practicum was to put aside, for the moment, the question of the best overall level of policing, and instead to ask whether there are particular responsibilities that police departments have taken on over time but that might be better handled by other agencies,” said Sklansky, a former federal prosecutor and criminal law expert. “The continuing toll of violence at traffic stops, including the tragic killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota, underscores the importance of the fundamental questions addressed in this report–questions about what roles the police should be asked to take on in the first place.”

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