Tuesday, March 17, 2015

National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Launches

The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice formed as a collective working to improve relationships and increase trust between minority communities and the criminal justice system. In September 2014,  the Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded a three-year grant to launch this initiative in efforts to advance public and scholarly understandings of these issues and develop interventions.

The initial interventions will be informed by ideas in  five pilot sites across the country. The five sites are Stockton, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Gary, Indiana; Fort Worth, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama.Each pilot site will develop a detailed site-specific plan that will enhance:
  • Racial reconciliation facilitates frank conversations between minority communities and law enforcement that allow them to address historic tensions, grievances, and misconceptions between them and reset relationships. 
  • Procedural justice focuses on how the characteristics of law enforcement interactions with the public shape the public’s views of the police, their willingness to obey the law, and actual crime rates. 
  • Implicit bias focuses on how largely unconscious psychological processes can shape authorities’ actions and lead to racially disparate outcomes even where actual racism is not present. 
Additionally, the initiative will focus on interventions for victims of domestic violence and other crimes, youth and the LGBTQ community. Following initial research and evaluation of the five sites, the initiative plans to establish a national clearinghouse where information, research and technical assistance are readily accessible for law enforcement, criminal justice practitioners and community leaders.The initiative will be guided by a board of advisors which will include national leaders from law enforcement, academia and faith-based groups, as well as community stakeholders and civil rights advocates. For resources and more information, visit the website.

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