Recent events have given new urgency to the longstanding questions about police tactics and oversight in the United States, questions that students and faculty at Stanford Law School continue to pursue. Calls to “defund the police” have raised complex questions about the role of law enforcement in areas such as mental health, homelessness, traffic enforcement and school safety. For example, in Fall 2020, in collaboration with the Stanford Center for Racial Justice and with the African American Mayors Association as our client, SCJC taught a policy lab to explore ways law enforcement might shift responsibilities to improve community safety and reduce harmful interactions between police and civilians. Also, at the request of the City of Berkeley, Stanford law students under the supervision of Professor David Sklansky and SCJC Executive Director Debbie Mukamal completed a major, comprehensive assessment of the advisability of arming police officers with Tasers or other “electronic control weapons”.

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Safety Beyond Policing: Promoting Care Over Criminalization

This report has two main goals: to review innovative alternatives to traditional policing that have been implemented in cities nationwide, and to propose feasible reforms that are cost effective and that further public safety. The report’s premise is that police intervention need not and should not be the default response to every social ill, from drug addiction to unlicensed street vendors to misbehavior of youth.

Read Full Report

Report on Electronic Control Weapons (ECWs) Submitted to the City of Berkeley

At the commission of the Berkeley City Council, Stanford Law School 3Ls Jena Neuscheler and Akiva Freidlin, under the supervision of Professor David Sklansky and Debbie Mukamal, authored a major report on the use of electronic control weapons (aka tasers) by police departments.

Read the report here

See the presentation

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