Community Safety Solutions
All Californians should live in safe communities with conditions that create an overall sense of well-being and opportunity to thrive. However, in many communities that are predominantly low-income and have high concentrations of people of color, we see higher rates of violence fueled by a wide variety of systemic inequities – such as blighted environments, insufficient social services, underemployment, low wages, and underperforming schools. Reimagine Justice & Safety addresses these challenges by advocating for safety solutions that prioritize care and address the root causes of violence.
For decades, cities have asked law enforcement officers to handle homelessness, failed schools, and mental illness, and many other issues they are ill-equipped to manage. Because of the organizing, advocacy, and direct services of community partners, it is now clear that a more sensible response is to expand the scope of care-based supports and services available to communities when challenging situations arise. This means more organizers, equity advocates, and violence interventionists than police and probation officers, and greater investments in community-based organizations rather than continuing to expand law enforcement.
Research shows that environment and social contexts play significant roles in violence reduction. Revitalizing blighted areas—such as transforming vacant lots into playgrounds or green spaces and filling abandoned buildings with tenants—is a viable violence reduction strategy. Reimagine Justice & Safety conducts research on these and other place-based reforms and advocates for their utility within a comprehensive ecosystem of non-law enforcement safety measures.
Equitable Economic Investments
Advancing long-term community safety requires addressing the root causes of social problems. Amongst numerous factors, studies indicate that guaranteed basic income and other programs that help people address unmet financial needs reduce violence, prevent crime, and save lives. As a result, Reimagine Justice & Safety works with policymakers and community partners to advocate for the adoption of economic-centered violence prevention policies.