This 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 allows for 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: the reinvestment of savings from criminal justice reform, the generation of new resource streams, and the shifting of 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, and 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.
Tool: Investing Public Funds in Community Safety Strategies [link to PDF]