Redefining Safety Starts with Safer Communities

May 26, 2021

Illustration of a community

While much of the country has spent the last year engaged in a debate over the meaning of the contentious phrase “Defund the Police,” several organizations have been moving forward in the urgently needed work of Redefining Safety for our communities. Many of our partners are working to address the overarching goal of defining and creating safer communities for us all – communities that balance safety with equity and accountability with redemption. These partners are moving us all closer to a world with truly safe communities.

Vera Institute of Justice

The Vera Institute works to end “the overcriminalization and mass incarceration of people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty” by developing “just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone in the system is treated with dignity.” Among its many focal points, the organization is lifting up an often-silenced aspect of the criminal justice reform space – the voices of women working to change our carceral system. Learn more

Alliance for Safety and Justice

The nation’s largest organization of U.S. crime victims recently released the first-ever National Crime Victims’ Agenda to urge lawmakers to finally prioritize the needs of Black and other underserved crime victims with support from state attorneys general. Learn more about their work.

Common Justice

Common Justice, an organization that develops and advances solutions to violence that transform the lives of those harmed and fosters racial equity without relying on incarceration, recently argued that the American Jobs Plan can provide needed investments in public safety infrastructure by supporting communities in anti-violence efforts that don’t implicate police. The organization also noted that the plan undercuts those efforts by funding police departments for additional hiring and greater incarceration. Read more on this.

See our Beyond Policing report for a full list of programs and services that look beyond police to promote safety (scroll to Page 12).