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How Do We Interrupt Violence Without Police?

Real solutions to violence require addressing root causes, including poverty, addiction and community health.

What do successful alternatives to policing, prosecution and prison actually look like? And how would they work? A group of Chicago’s leading public safety, health, and justice innovators gathered at the DePaul Art Museum last summer to provide much-needed clarity on these crucial questions.

Artists, survivors of violence, entrepreneurs and business leaders, public defenders, policy experts, restorative justice practitioners and system-impacted people sat down for a series of conversations while exploring Remaking the Exceptional, a groundbreaking exhibition on torture and incarceration.

The conversations expose common myths about crime and punishment and explain a range of critical issues and innovations, including restorative justice, violence interruption, copaganda, pretrial detention and the criminalization of survivors, among others.

This short film — the second in a series named after the exhibition and produced by Zealous, Truthout and Teen Vogue — focuses on the practice of “violence interruption,” how violence is a symptom of a failed carceral system, and why real solutions to violence require addressing root causes, including poverty, addiction and community health. The film features Sharlyn Grace and Takenya Nixon, both from the Cook County Public Defender’s Office; health advocate and entrepreneur Tanya Lozano; entrepreneur and trauma specialist Johnny Page; and advocate and policy expert Briana Payton.

Read more on violence interruption from Truthout.

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