2017 Bright Idea
Department of Justice
January 1, 2017

The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, a project of the United States Department of Justice designed to improve relationships between law enforcement and communities. The project develops and implements interventions to combat implicit bias, enhance procedural justice, and a deploy a first of its kind reconciliation framework in six pilot sites around the country. Hosted by the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the initiative mobilizes a partnership comprised of the Center for Policing Equity at John Jay College, the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School, and the Urban Institute to improve relationships between law enforcement and minority communities, as well as advance public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships. The project also focuses on issues impacting relationships between law enforcement and particularly vulnerable populations including youth, immigrants, LGBTQIA individuals, and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Over the past year and a half, the initiative has worked with police, community leaders, academics, and other experts in a range of fields to develop an actionable plan for six pilot sites that were chosen based on demonstrated ability and willingness to participate, the strongest possibility for positive treatment, and leadership and institutional readiness. Pilot projects in Birmingham, AL; Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, IN; Minneapolis, MN; Pittsburgh, PA; and Stockton, CA have included new training for police officers, original research to develop comprehensive understandings of salient issues, and the facilitation of vital conversations and partnerships between law enforcement and community members to promote trust and public safety in each city.