The Community Investment Landscape

A November 2018 Urban Institute study documents the range of approaches that states, localities, and neighborhoods are pursuing to direct public resources to community-driven public safety solutions that fall outside the traditional justice system. This supports targeted interventions that meet priorities that communities grappling with the realities of mass incarceration identify for themselves.

Our research found three primary funding strategies for these community initiatives: reinvesting savings from criminal justice reform, generating new resource streams, shifting resources away from corrections and law enforcement.

Key considerations for jurisdictions considering similar approaches include:

  • supporting community-led priority-setting
  • investing sufficient resources in organizations with strong community connections
  • building sustainable funding streams
  • making use of an entity to serve as intermediary
  • documenting and communicating results

To continue to advance community-driven public safety initiatives, stakeholders identified the need for additional messaging and public opinion work, investment in grassroots leadership, and research and policy development support.