The Anti-Policing Health Workers Cohort aims to increase resistance to the every-day violence of policing, strengthen people’s skills to respond to community health needs in ways that minimize police contact, and ultimately decouple access to health care from policing.
This is an incomplete and working resource list of materials that help us analyze and think through the connections between policing and health care in order to more successfully work to sever these connections.

Please contact us if there are other useful resources you would like to see added to this list. Email or call 510.444.0484

Oakland Power Projects Anti-Policing Healthworker Cohort Tools:

Interview with Ruben Leal, Community Medic. In developing OPP, CR interviewed many community members who have found ways to reduce reliance on and contact with law enforcement when addressing health situations. In this interview, CR speaks with Ruben Leal, a community medic and organizer with CURYJ, about skills and best practices to deal with emergency situations. Ruben shares a story about an emergency event and reflects on police criminalization.

911 Chart: Police Contact and What Happens When You Call 911. (Download PDF here)




Reports, Commentary, and Articles about uncoupling health and mental health care from policing and prisons:

Community Groups Work to Provide Emergency Medical Alternatives, Separate From Police – Truthout

Protecting Urban Health and Safety: Balancing Care and Harm in the Era of Mass Incarceration. – N Gaber & A Wright

What to do When Someone is Having a Mental Health Crisis on the Street – Broke-Ass Stuart

Big Dreams and Bold Steps Toward a Police-Free Future – Truthout

Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fatal Law Enforcement Encounters – Treatment Advocacy Center (Report)

How many individuals with serious mental illness are in jails and prisons? – Treatment Advocacy Center (Backgrounder)

A Mental Health Jail is an Oxymoron – Californians United for a Responsible Budget (Webinar)

7 Reasons Why Mental Health Advocates Should Fight Prison and Jail Expansion – Californians United for a Responsible Budget (Flyer)

Impact of Disproportionate Incarceration of & Violence Against Black People with Mental Health Conditions in the World’s Largest Jail System – Dignity and Power Now (Report)

A mental health jail is an oxymoron; diversion is what’s needed – Daily News

California jail system fails mentally ill inmates – East Bay Times

Breaking the Silence: Civil and Human Rights Violations Resulting from Medical Neglect and Abuse of Women of Color in Los Angeles County Jails – Dignity and Power Now & CURB (Report)


News articles about intersections of policing and health/mental health: 

How America’s criminal justice system became the country’s mental health system – Vox

What If Mental Health First Aid Were as Widespread as CPR? New York City’s Planning to Do It – Yes! Magazine

Schools Spend More Money Policing Students Than Helping Them – The Root

Mental Health 911 –  East Bay Express – Police are increasingly on the frontlines of dealing with people with psychiatric problems. But they’re often not adequately trained to de-escalate potentially violent encounters.

→ EBX Health Worker Response Letter

Against Carceral Feminism – Jacobin – Relying on state violence to curb domestic violence only ends up harming the most marginalized women.

App to Fix Issue of 911 Cellphone Calls in Oakland Routing to CHP in Vallejo: Report – NBC Bay Area

Distraught People, Deadly Results – Washington Post – Officers often lack the training to approach the mentally unstable, experts say

Dumping America’s mental-health woes on the cops – New York Post

Police districts in black, Latino areas top calls for mental-health crises – The Chicago Reporter

US: Police 16 Times More Likely to Kill Mentally Ill People – TeleSur

Smartphone App Allows Citizens to Depend on Each Other for Emergency Services Instead of Police – Truth Voice

All of Chicago – not just its police – must see systemic change to save black lives – The Guardian

Articles and resources about community health care:

Alondra Nelson: The Black Panther Party and health care equality (Video)


Other organizations/community groups:

Rad Med –  An open, horizontal collective, integrating community physicians, psychiatrists, graduate and undergraduate students in anthropology, medicine, and public health; community health workers; patient advocates and patient-survivors; medical anthropologists; health policy scholars; physicians and nurses; university administrators; and hospital chaplains and clergy.

Peoples Community Medics – A grassroots organization teaching basic emergency first aid skills free of charge.

Anti Police-Terror Project – The Anti Police-Terror Project is a group of concerned and committed institutions, organizations, and individuals dedicated to ending state-sanctioned murder and violence perpetuated against Black, Brown and Poor people. Black led, multi-racial, multi-generational coalition.


Know Your Rights When Dealing with the Cops:

It’s a Trap!: Undercover Cops, Informants, and Cooperating Witnesses – National Lawyers Guild

A Know Your Rights Guide for Law Enforcement Encounters – National Lawyers Guild

Transgender Know Your Rights Manuals (2014) – National Lawyers Guild

Dealing with Police – Midnight Special Law Collective

Legal Steps and Choices Chart – Midnight Special Law Collective

Know Your Rights Pocket Guide –  Berkeley CopWatch