Framework for Evaluating Reformist Reforms vs. Abolitionist Steps


The questions in this document provide a guide to analyze whether proposed reforms to family policing further entrench the family policing system or move us closer to abolition of family policing. The questions we ask are a reflection of the world we want to build—one without family policing and one where children are safer.

We seek to: end the reach of the family policing system; end the prospect of harm caused by family policing; take away the power of the family policing system; and diminish the legitimacy of the family policing system, while also seeking to affirm child, family, and community autonomy; promote healing for children, families, and communities; increase access to direct supports; and create a society where the need for a family policing system is obsolete.

There are many questions to ask that lead us to the abolition of family policing; these are just a few. And, while the answers to each of these questions are not always unequivocally “yes” or “no,” the questions do assist in considering whether we are building a world where family policing no longer exists or simply transforming family policing while leaving the core components of the system and its oppression intact.