The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is led by the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with Yale Law School, the Center for Policing Equity at UCLA, and the Urban Institute as principal partners, in an ongoing collaboration with the US Department of Justice.
The National Network for Safe Communities, a project of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, supports jurisdictions implementing strategic interventions to reduce violence and community disorder. These strategies combine the best of law enforcement and community-driven approaches to improve public safety, minimize arrests and incarceration, enhance police legitimacy, and rebuild relationships between law enforcement and distressed communities.
David M. Kennedy is the Director of the National Network for Safe Communities. For over 20 years, Kennedy has brought a passion for honesty, reconciliation, and substantive change to America’s most distressed communities. He has pioneered strategies for working in real-time partnership with stakeholders at all levels, taking on particular important problems, developing and directing large-scale interventions, and promulgating them nationally. Kennedy's intervention work in this area has been proven effective in a variety of settings by a Campbell Collaboration evaluation, and is currently being implemented in Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore, Oakland, and many other cities nationwide. Central to his extensive field work has been a process of reconciliation that Kennedy designed by engaging communities historically divided from law enforcement, dispelling toxic misunderstandings between them, fostering a process of truth-telling that allows them to find common ground and address serious violence in partnership, and allowing law enforcement to step back and communities to reset their own public safety standards. Kennedy’s work has won two Ford Foundation Innovations in Government awards, among other distinctions. He helped develop the High Point Drug Market Intervention strategy; the Justice Department’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative; the Treasury Department’s Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative; the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Drug Market Intervention Program; and the High Point Domestic Violence Intervention Program.
Amy Crawford is the Deputy Director of the National Network for Safe Communities, an action-research center at John Jay College focusing on working with jurisdictions around the United States and internationally to strengthen communities and enhance public safety. In her role as deputy director, she oversees the implementation and innovations of the National Network strategies to reduce violence, minimize arrest and incarceration, enhance legitimacy, and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities. Ms. Crawford also serves as the acting Project Director of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. She has spent her career driving justice system change by focusing on collaborative engagement in various capacities.
The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a research consortium that promotes police transparency and accountability by facilitating innovative research collaborations between law enforcement agencies and empirical social scientists. Through these facilitated collaborations, the Center seeks to improve issues of equity–particularly racial and gender equity–in policing both within law enforcement agencies and between agencies and the communities they serve. The Center aims to effect cultural transformations within both law enforcement and the academy by creating opportunities that simultaneously preserve the dignity of law enforcement and advance the application of social science to the real world. CPE is designed to further the interests of transparency and accountability in equity matters.
Phillip A. Goff, PhD, is best known for his work exploring “racism without racists,” the notion that contextual factors—even absent racial hostility—can facilitate racially unjust outcomes. His research is the first to link psychological factors to an officer’s use of force
history, creating the first empirical model for predicting police violence and implicit racial bias in police brutality. Dr. Goff is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has worked as an equity researcher and consultant for police departments around the country, and he has recently established the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) at UCLA. This national action research network counts more than 75 researchers and numerous major cities as collaborators, each of which provide unfettered access to data for the purposes of creating new research, sparking policy changes and promoting community accountability.
The Justice Collaboratory brings together scholars and researchers of diverse theoretical and methodological orientations at Yale University and elsewhere to work on issues related to institutional reform and policy innovation and advancement. It infuses theory, empirical research, and targeted clinical trials in order to achieve its goal of making the components of criminal justice operation simultaneously more effective, just, and democratic.
Collaboratory scholars seek to develop theory and empirical research relevant to procedural justice, police legitimacy, social network analysis, restorative justice, democratic participation, and the philosophical determinants of punishment. The Collaboratory works to expand the science underlying these strategies so that new and more effective approaches might be developed. Collaboratory members also field test strategies and approaches relevant to the theoretical innovations that it develops. The leadership of the Collaboratory contributes deep expertise to the areas of procedural justiec and police legitimacy.
Tom R. Tyler, PhD, brings to the effort his reputation for creating “paradigm shifting scholarship in the study of law and society,” for which he won the Law and Society Association Harry Kalven prize in 2000. He is the Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. Prior to coming to Yale, he also taught at New York University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University. Dr. Tyler has done extensive research and published numerous articles, books, and chapters on how individuals’ judgments about the justice or injustice of certain procedures shape their subsequent legitimacy, compliance, and cooperation, particularly in the field of interactions with law enforcement. Dr. Tyler has worked extensively with Tracey Meares to research and publish findings on police legitimacy and procedural justice and advise agencies on the practical use of these concepts in the field.
Tracey L. Meares, JD, is one of the leading national theorists on police legitimacy and, in particular, how racial narratives influence police relationships with minority communities and how deliberate attention to these issues can influence community compliance with the law. She is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor at Yale Law School, before which she was Max Pam Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago Law School. Her research focuses on communities, police legitimacy, and legal policy.
Founded in 1968 to understand the problems facing America’s cities and assess the programs of the War on Poverty, the Urban Institute brings decades of objective analysis and expertise to policy debates—in city halls and state houses, Congress and the White House, and emerging democracies around the world. Today, our research portfolio ranges from the social safety net to health and tax policies; the well-being of families and neighborhoods; and trends in work, earnings, and wealth building. Our scholars have a distinguished track record of turning evidence into solutions. The leadership and staff from the Urban Institute offer extensive evaluation expertise across a wide array of topics germane to the National Initiative.
Nancy La Vigne, PhD, has over twenty years of experience as a researcher and evaluator of criminal justice programs, policies, and technologies and brings a wealth of methodological, research, and management expertise to the team. She is the lead author on an upcoming COPS Office report on “stop and frisk,” which explains to a law enforcement audience the potentially negative impact of the practice on police-community relations and describes methods to carry out citizen contacts lawfully, respectfully, and in accordance with the tenets of community policing and procedural justice. Under her leadership, the Justice Policy Center has conducted research projects on justice reinvestment, police accountability, and civilian oversight of the criminal justice system.
Jocelyn Fontaine, PhD, leads research projects that evaluate the impact of community-based initiatives at the individual, family, and community level through both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. She has experience developing survey instruments, facilitating focus groups, conducting fieldwork in a variety of settings, facilitating stakeholder interviews, and translating best practices into program
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies. Because most of the responsibility for crime control and prevention falls to law enforcement officers in states, cities, and neighborhoods, the federal government can be effective in these areas only to the extent that it can enter into partnerships with these officers. Therefore, OJP does not directly carry out law enforcement and justice activities. Instead, OJP works in partnership with the justice community to identify the most pressing crime-related challenges confronting the justice system and to provide information, training, coordination, and innovative strategies and approaches for addressing these challenges.