This seminar examines the historical roots of prisons and policing—especially as they relate to the institution of slavery—and how movements for abolition can inform debates about public health. For one, contrary to well-meaning ‘reform’ efforts, we examine how neither the police nor prisons can ever be appropriate or adequate mental health responders. Second, drawing on the work of decolonial theorists and prison abolitionists, this seminar tries to expose the contradictions of correctional medicine and prison hospice care. In other words, the prison is a place that produces mass death yet purports to be a place that can help people die with dignity. Thus, it is not only important for public health practitioners to study how the state can remedy mass suffering, but also how the state inflicts mass suffering on its people, especially on communities of color. Throughout the seminar, we examine alternatives to prisons and police. These alternatives help us imagine more creative ways to deal with interpersonal harm and address the root causes of crime and mental illness. Ultimately, the seminar invites public health scholars to be more sensitive to the daily trauma, terror, and anxiety experienced by Black communities under the eye of the U.S. police state.