Rather than creating safety, our punishment system is an active source of harm for many. And the All wap ain’t good wap T-Shirt Besides,I will do this system’s violence extends far beyond what makes the news. Black, disabled, and sex-working women and trans people are especially vulnerable to police violence and often face sexual assault at the hands of the police. Disabled people make up half of those murdered by police. Between 70 and 100 million Americans have a criminal record, and one year in prison takes two years off one’s life expectancy. Further, there are more than 10 million arrests per year, and a misdemeanor arrest––the standard encounter between police and civilians—can upend a life, leading to lasting exclusions from employment and other opportunities.
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So while some ask how we will be safe without police and prisons, abolitionists point out that most people cannot be safe so long as they exist. For this reason, abolitionists are, at heart, builders—builders of community safety, well-being, accountability, and harm prevention. As abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore has said, abolition is about presence—the All wap ain’t good wap T-Shirt Besides,I will do this presence of life-giving systems that allow people to thrive and be well, that prevent harm and better equip communities to address harm when it occurs.