Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform (SPEAR)

Open Letter to Princeton University President and Cabinet

Princeton Students Against Policing

The letter demands the immediate defunding and eventual abolition of the Princeton campus police force, PSAFE. Noting that police reform initiatives around the country have been ineffective at decreasing police brutality against Black people, the letter rejects reformist approaches to PSAFE, arguing that policing in any form is an inherently racist practice that must be dismantled. In place of a policing-based model, the letter urges the University to develop new models of public safety, mental health management, and substance abuse based on restorative and transformative justice.

The letter makes the following demands:

  1. Eventual abolition of PSAFE: Demands a commitment from the University and a specific plan and timeline for dismantling PSAFE; the restributing of PSAFE’s current responsibilities to non-police based university and student organs; the termination of the University’s relationship with local area and national police organizations.
  2. Immediate defunding and disarming of PSAFE: Demands immediate disarmament of the campus police force, reduction of its funding and commitments to not raise its funding, and increased transparency of its crime logs, pending accomplishment of above demand. 
  3. Investment in a new safety model: Demands the University divert responsibilities of PSAFE toward other campus organizations based on principles of restorative and transformative justice; the disentanglement of mental health and substance use treatment from policing- and detention-based tactics; the establishment of reparations funds meant to benefit communities disproportionately affected by policing, police brutality, and mass incarceration.

Princeton University is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Lenapehoking and the Lenape people. We pay respect to Lenape peoples past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora.