CRT2 S1 Ep2: CRT and Family Regulation System: Toward Abolition


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This episode of CRT2 features Professor Anna Arons, Joyce McMillan, and Professor Dorothy Roberts. Discussion topics include the need for abolition and how we can work toward a society that actually keeps children and families safe without relying on systematic violence.

Professor Arons speaks on her experiences as a public defender working in the family regulation system and shares insights from her recent COVID-19 related research which found that the withdrawal of New York City’s vast family regulation system during the pandemic did not lead to an increase in child abuse. Families found support elsewhere through community-based mutual aid and new government entitlements. In this way, the city’s shutdown became an unplanned experiment in abolition, “demonstrating a possible future absent the massive, oppressive apparatus of the family regulation system."

Episode Details

Released: July 11, 2022

Length: 29:43


Photo of Anna Arons

Anna Arons is an Acting Professor of Lawyering at New York University Law School.

Photo of Joyce McMillan

Joyce McMillan is a thought leader, advocate, activist, community organizer, educator, and the Founder and Executive Director of JMACforFamilies (Just Making a Change). Her mission is to remove systemic barriers in communities of color by bringing awareness to the racial disparities in systems where people of color are disproportionately affected.

Photo of Dorothy Roberts

Dorothy Roberts is the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her path breaking work in law and public policy focuses on urgent social justice issues in policing, family regulation, science, medicine, and bioethics.


Produced, written, and edited by Abie Green, Angela Yu and Manny Zhang.

Sound Clips:

Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, Abolition Democracy 10/13: Abolishing Family Policing, YouTube (February 25, 2021).
The Moth, The Moth Presents: Joyce McMillan, YouTube (June 29, 2017).
Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Moving from Why to How: Parent Leaders’ Perspective on the Movement for Child Welfare Justice, YouTube (October 6, 2020).


Dorothy E. Roberts, Abolishing Policing Also Means Abolishing Family Regulation, The Imprint (June 16, 2020).
Kendra Hurley, How the Pandemic Became an Unplanned Experiment in Abolishing the Child Welfare System, The New Republic (August 18, 2021).
Partners for Our Children, The History of Foster Care.
Rise, Abolition is the Only Answer: A Coversation with Dorothy Roberts, Rise Magazine (October 20, 2020).


Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social Justice

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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CRT2 S1 Ep2: CRT and Family Regulation System: Toward Abolition