My least favorite parts of responses to abolitionist movements (e.g. police abolition, prison abolition, #AbolishICE, etc.) are the responses of: "Well, what do replace them with?"
Folks, this is a dumb, dumb, dumb question! Don't be the person who says this.
When we see political institutions that use a hecka of a lot of tax dollars to attack people and break apart families, our first question shouldn't be: "which other organizations should get to do that now". We don't need tax-funded organizations playing musical chairs to hurt people!!
Instead we should ask, perhaps in this order:
- What social goals does this organization further? Are those goals politically responsible? Politically responsible goals are those forms of political order which increase the accountability and responsiveness of all institutions to all who are effected by the operations of those institutions, particularly the least well off. (If the answer to the second question is no, then we can save ourselves some money AND make the world a more just place. That's a win-win.)
- Why are we using public resources to hurt people? Which non-violent means exist to accomplish these social goals (assuming those goals are politically responsible)? If the only way to further the goal is to hurt people, then the goal is not politically responsible, by definition.
Take for instance the #AbolishICE movement. When ICE is gone, the Untied States will no longer possess (a decade and a half old) super-expensive rogue secret police force within the United States armed with guns, helicopters, tactical gear, and brutal interrogation training under the direction of a former CIA operative terrorizing immigrant communities and permanently traumatizing children for administrative violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act.