Tonight, City Council will hear a proposal to create and install a police surveillance camera network in downtown Lawrence. You can read the full proposal here.
The proposed surveillance system is another example of how the profit motive is driving our criminal justice policy.
This policy would not serve the interests of the people of Lawrence, but would put $108,000 into the pockets of a private company who’s selling us the cameras.
We saw this same process last year, when private jail-construction companies wanted our city and state to build a jail we don’t want and don’t need. Private companies will always want to expand the incarceration system to line their pockets & this vicious cycle has propelled a brutal and racist system of mass-incarceration. We have seen this before: cops will purchase more tools to catch more people for minor offenses, and then they use the rise in minor convictions to justify buying more tools and building more prisons.
We said no to the jail expansion, and we say no to this expansion of the mass-incarceration apparatus. As Socialists and residents of Lawrence, we reject this proposal and urge everyone to do the same.