How and why are jail fights a crucial part of the movement for abolition? Critical Resistance has focused on fighting jails specifically, because jails are an integral component in the functioning of the prison industrial complex (PIC) connecting the systems of policing, courts, and imprisonment through local city and county administration. Of the 2.3 million people who are imprisoned in the US, nearly one-third of US prisoners are locked up in jails alone.
Our work to abolish jails prioritizes divesting funding from jailing, eliminating pretrial imprisonment, ending quality of life policing, and halting police targeting of people of color, people in mental health crisis, and poor people. Additionally, our campaigns demand investments in life-sustaining resources such as housing, harm reduction or voluntary substance-use services, and health and mental health support.