Our Campaign:

Portland continues to anchor Care Not Cops, a Mental Health Care Not Policing campaign that is fighting for a reduction in the 2018-2019 Portland Police Bureau budget. We are demanding that mental health care be centered in the hands of community, and are calling for a reduction in police spending towards ultimately disarming and defunding the police. We unequivocally reject the Portland Police request for a budget increase of $12.7 million in order to hire for 93 new police positions! Read our 2018 budget analysis here.

With the City of Portland prioritizing policing rather than trained community-based mental health first responders, people experiencing mental health episodes are punished or criminalized, often leading to imprisonment, injury, or death. Policing and imprisonment forcefully removes people from our communities and creates more severe long term problems, rather than providing the care we need.

A May 17th, 2018 update on this work can be found here.

We invite you to get involved with this campaign through attending our monthly volunteer sessions. Email us to get involved and find out when the next session will be.

Join Critical Resistance Portland for our monthly Mail Program!

Each month we gather as a mail crew and volunteer team to host an open letter writing + work party to connect with folks looking to get involved. We receive anywhere from 5-25 letters a month and we offer political education, resource information, and books and articles Folks can help out by writing letters to people in OR/WA prisons, typing notes or archiving correspondence, as well as other things that help our chapter running. This is the best time to connect with chapter members and learn more about upcoming projects, events and build coalitions among accomplices for abolition.

Find us on the 3rd Mondays of the month at 5:30pm. Contact us or find us on Facebook to confirm location.



CRNYC’s robust prisoner correspondence increases collaborations across prison walls in order to build stronger inside/outside organizing, uplift analysis and strategy of imprisoned people, and bolster prisoner perspectives and prisoner led advocacy. Below are some examples of this work.


Critical Resistance New York City hosts a monthly volunteer night to help us maintain connections with people imprisoned in New York and along the east coast, share information and resources, and develop abolitionist vision and strategy beyond prison walls. Join us on the third Wednesday of every month to volunteer and learn more about our work in New York and nationally.

WHEN: Every third Wednesday, every month, 7-9pm
WHERE: Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), 147 W. 24th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011
TRANSIT: 1 @ 23rd Street, C/E @ 23rd Street, or F/M @ 23rd Street
ACCESS: No ID is required for building entry. This office is accessible by elevator, please buzz and wait in the elevator to be brought up to the 5th FL.


The Attica Interview Project was initiated by Critical Resistance to support prison closure organizing in New York. Through oral history and organizing we seek to document the continued legacy of repression, survival, and resistance at Attica. By producing media as a resource for building movement, we strive to highlight the experiences of formerly imprisoned people and their visions for transformation.

atticaPhoto: Bob Schutz, September 10,1971

Critical Resistance would like this project to contribute to the broad struggle to end the violence of imprisonment, policing, surveillance, and political repression. More specifically, the Attica Interview Project works to connect people who lived through imprisonment at Attica before, during, and after the 1971 rebellion, and build their leadership in the fight to close it.

For these interviews, we will use a combination of video, recorded audio, and still images. Our documentation is grounded in a philosophy of self-representation – that people who participate determine how and when they are photographed and recorded. We strive to represent interview participants not as victims, but as agents of social change struggling individually and collectively to improve their lives and conditions.

People’s Victory! A broad and vibrant effort by New Yorkers defeated Governor Cuomo’s plans to reduce visiting hours at New York’s maximum security prisons.

Artwork by Innosanto Nagara for and Strong Families network.

Together we won.

This spring Gov. Cuomo proposed to cut back visiting days at New York State maximum security prisons to three days a week instead of the current seven. A broad and vibrant front of organizations and community members, listed below sprang into action to fight, knowing this measure  would cause suffering and separation for thousands of imprisoned people and their loved ones. Imprisoned people, loved ones, community organizers, lwyers, and advocates highlighted the ways that visiting is vital and essential for people’s wellbeing and stability inside and outside.

Critical Resistance-New York City bolstered this effort by discussing with people who are currently imprisoned in New YorkState maximum facility prisons about the visiting cuts, producing a report that highlights people’s opposition and analysis. solicited testimony and analysis from. To protect against potential retaliation, we have only included respondent’s first name and location, when preferred, or their otherwise requested title.We hope this collection of testimony will be used as a tool in the fight against limitations and cuts to visitation today and beyond. You can check out the report here.


Through powerful testimony and pressure on decision makers, we forced the Governor to remove this cut from his proposed 2017-18 budget.  FamiliesLifelines

We’re humbled to be part of the powerful movement of dozens of organizations and hundreds of community members across the state that demanded that the Governor cancel his proposal. We hope that together we will continue to fight strongly and powerfully against the restrictions that the prison industrial complex attempts to impose.

Download and share the flyer: Side 1 (Front, image) and Side 2 (back with Take Action info)

HOW WE TOOK ACTION, visit this page:

Fighting a $2.3 Billion Jail Plan for Los Angeles

LA No More Jails

Alongside our partners from LA No More Jails and Justice LA, Critical Resistance is working to halt to a multi-billion dollar jail plan being proposed for the county. This is a continuation of 10 years of successfully fighting jail expansion in LA County. Currently the Sheriff and Board of Supervisors are trying to push through an overwhelming plan to build 4000 new jail beds in LA County. These cages are specifically targeting people in the women’s jail system in LA County through a so-called “gender responsive” women’s jail in Lancaster, and people with mental health needs through rebuilding Men’s Central Jail in downtown LA into a mental health jail.

Read more about this important campaign and get involved!

Statewide Anti-Prison Expansion Work

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Californians United for a Responsible Budget

CR Oakland and Los Angeles are members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), a broad-based alliance of over 40 organizations. CURB’s mission is to shrink the number of prisons and reduce the number of people in prison in California by curbing prison spending. CR Los Angeles is an active member of CURB’s workgroup, LA No More Jails.






CITY-WIDE POPULAR EDUCATION on the Prison Industrial Complex and its Abolition.


Californian’s health and safety will not be improved with jail expansion. California county jails are inherently violent, poorly run, and wastes of taxpayer money. The public funds that are now used to police, convict and incarcerate people should be going to provide housing, education, health care & employment. Safe and healthy communities depend on mental health services, youth centers, supportive and affordable housing, and real opportunities in their communities; not cages. Read more on Alternative Investments to Imprisonment

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Critical Resistance Oakland is a member of Stop Urban Shield, a broad coalition of organizations working to end Urban Shield, an annual militarized SWAT training and weapons expo that has taken place in Alameda County since 2007. Urban Shield brings together local, regional, and international police-military units to collaborate on new forms of surveillance, repression, and state violence. In 2014, Stop Urban Shield and broader community organizations and members built upon Oakland’s rich history of organizing against policing and for self-determination by forcing the City of Oakland to stop hosting Urban Shield. We are now working with the coalition to put a complete end to Urban Shield.


No New San Francisco Jail Coalition

people's reportCritical Resistance Oakland is a cofounding member of the No New San Francisco coalition, which is halting jail expansion in San Francisco County.

In 2015, CR-Oakland released “No New Jail in SF: The People’s Report”, a comprehensive report that exposes the human impact of the proposed jail. Read and download the report here. At the end of the year, CR-Oakland and the No New SF Jail coalition successfully defeated the proposal for a new jail in San Francisco at 850 Bryant St. Since then, we have been focused on making sure that new proposals to build a smaller replacement jail or a locked mental health facility—a jail by another name—do not move forward.

To this end, CR developed a popular educational resource, “8 Steps Toward a Jail-Free San Francisco,” which has been used by decision makers as a tool to evaluate alternative proposals to a jail, and contributed to “The San Francisco Community Health Initiative,” a comprehensive people’s plan that prioritizes meeting social and economic needs as solutions to ending imprisonment.

On October 28, 2016 a year of hard work paid off when the “Alternatives to a Jail Rebuild” community-city workgroup rejected the Sheriff’s two “mental health” jail proposals and endorsed non-jail alternatives instead.

We will continue to pressure the County Supervisors to ensure that our victories are not undermined and that no new jails are constructed in SF, especially in the name of health and treatment. You can read the coalition’s platform here. Check out the coalition’s website for updates and ways to take action!

We are part of a statewide network through CURB coalition (California United for a Responsible Budget), to oppose cage expansion throughout the state. Californian’s health and safety will not be improved with jail expansion. California county jails are inherently violent, poorly run, and wastes of taxpayer money. The public funds that are now used to police, convict and incarcerate people should be going to provide housing, education, health care & employment. Safe and healthy communities depend on mental health services, youth centers, supportive and affordable housing, and real opportunities in their communities; not cages. Check out  Alternative Investments to Imprisonment, a tool which Critical Resistance developed to fight expansion and help make abolition common sense.

Oakland Power Projects

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Policing is failing Oakland.  The Oakland Power Projects help Oakland residents invest in practices, relationships, and resources that build community power and wellbeing.  By identifying current harms, amplifying existing resources, and developing new practices that do not rely on policing solutions, the Oakland Power Projects remind us that we can make our families and neighborhoods safe and healthy without relying on the cops.

Learn more about the project and how to plug in here.

News and Resources About Uncoupling Health and Mental Health Care from Policing and Prisons


The Movement to Abolish Solitary Confinement and Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition

Kiwi Illafonte
Critical Resistance (CR) has been heavily involved in prisoner-led organizing to abolish solitary, from the first California prisoner hunger strike in 2011 to the 30,000-strong strike in 2013. Critical Resistance is an active member in Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity, a coalition based in the Bay Area. For more information, visit their website.

We are currently building an outside strategy to keep solitary confinement in the spotlight. July 8, 2015 was the 2nd year anniversary of the 2013 CA Prisoner Hunger Strikes. To commemorate this anniversary and keep the spotlight on solitary confinement this month, we’ve launched an #AbolishSolitary social media campaign. Each day we will be posting an image of an organizer, cultural worker, artist or loved one of a prisoner holding a sign that says “ABOLISH SOLITARY CONFINEMENT” and a reason why/ a demand. Read more here.

In 2015 we are extending our strategy in partnership with imprisoned organizers to compel grassroots organizing and advocacy to abolish the use of solitary. To identify potential targets for a long-term campaign, CROak has initiated a letter interview project with people currently or recently imprisoned in solitary confinement; we’ve engaged 60 imprisoned people so far.

Prisoner Mail

Members also correspond with hundreds of prisoners each month — building relationships, building the movement and giving much needed support to folks who are locked up. Come to our volunteer night to support and engage! Every Tuesday, 7-9pm. 1904 Franklin St #504, Oakland, CA 94612. Email for info or to RSVP.


Stop the Injunction Coalition (STIC)

Since 2010 Critical Resistance Oakland has been an active member of the Stop the Injunctions Coalition (STIC). This strong city-wide coalition fought the use of gang injunctions* and other destructive policing policies in Oakland and built community power as we demanded what we wanted and needed in Oakland instead of more policing. In March 2015 STIC won a full victory against the use of gang injunctions in Oakland! After six years of community pressure that had stalled the injunctions from being expanded or enforced, the City Attorney officially dropped both injunctions from the books. Oakland is the first city in the country to admit defeat on all fronts, dismiss the cases in court, and drop gang injunctions from their toolbox of repressive policing schemes. For more information, visit STIC’s website.

Along the way, Critical Resistance, our STIC allies, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), and engaged neighbors built the Fruitvale Community Garden, as an example of a life-affirming community resource that STIC was demanding as a real solution to harm and disenfranchisement. The Fruitvale Community Garden became a model for the Oakland Power Projects: how to seed resources that reduce our reliance on policing as the answer to community needs.

The Plan for a Safer Oakland (PSO)

CR initiated a partnership with All Of Us Or None to work towards REAL safety in Oakland. In our partnership, we articulated demands for more and better re-entry services that welcome people coming home from prison, we called on Oakland to invest in people instead of prisons and policing and we stood up for the rights of Oakland’s youth.  Both Critical Resistance and All Of Us Or None shifted the Plan for a Safer Oakland work to the Stop the Injunctions Coalition struggle in 2010.  Read more about PSO here.


Join CR-Oakland’s Listserve and/or Mailing List

Please email CR to get added to either the listserve (low-traffic) or our mailing list: