Navigating DOJ Consent Decrees in the Context of Campaigns to Defund Police

Date Published: 6/2/2021

Author(s): Wesley Ware Jr and Andrea J. Ritchie

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Summary: This resource covers why consent decrees are at odds with defund police campaigns. DOJ consent decrees are often invoked as a means of addressing police violence, but often have unintended consequences ($ cost to community under a consent decree, increase to local police budgets, increased police power and surveillance, shutting community out of the process of accountability, reinforces the legitimacy of policing as a form of public safety, etc.) in the context of divest/invest and/or defunding police campaigns.

Take Action!

See whether or not your city is potentially going to be under a consent decree and advocate against it, or use the document to create community-based forms of this type of decree (e.g., the People's Consent Decree/People's Defund Decree).