Communicating about efforts to reform the criminal legal system can be challenging given ever-changing dynamics in local politics, diverse audiences and perspectives, and the high stakes for public safety and community well-being. Though local contexts need to be considered, there are some best practices and principles for developing effective communication and dissemination strategies. Drawing from Urban Institute resources, this guide can help community groups effectively communicate about reform and equity in the criminal legal system, by walking through the steps to determine key audiences, build and share compelling stories, and collect feedback from community collaborators.
This is one in a series of guides developed by the Urban Institute for community groups, drawing on the experiences of Catalyst Grant Program participants and Urban researchers. The Catalyst Grant Program is a collaboration between the Urban Institute and the Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative to help nonprofit organizations use data and technology to advance racial equity in the criminal legal system.
The other Catalyst guides in this series are:
- Advice from the Field: Requesting Data from the Criminal Legal System
- Best Practices in Community Surveys for Criminal Legal System Reform
- Designing Data and Technology Projects for Criminal Legal System Reform
Visit the Catalyst Grant Program Insights page for more resources and stories about the grantees.