Community Safety and Justice

While visioning and building an equitable and just system that keeps all communities safe, PolicyLink also works to reduce the harm of our current policing system, including shifting the narrative about policing, limiting the power of police unions to weaken public safety, and, through the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, supporting campaigns to defund the police, limiting use of force, increasing accountability, and making police racial profiling and misconduct records more transparent in California.

Transforming Justice by Building People Power

As an advocacy network, the Alliance is guided by grassroots and community organizations, many of which include leaders directly impacted by the injustice of our criminal-legal system. We support these community leaders in developing and advancing policies that free incarcerated people by closing youth and adult prisons, ensure greater transparency and accountability in lock-ups, defund law enforcement and limit the scope of their authority, and invest in the community-based supports necessary to ensure people have what they need to heal, stay safe, and lead self-determined lives.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

People’s Coalition for Safety and Freedom
PolicyLink is a founding member of the national People’s Coalition for Safety and Freedom, working to decarcerate the United States and invest billions of dollars into the communities most impacted by policies of criminalization and incarceration. The coalition’s first goal is to dismantle the harmful provisions of the 1994 Crime Bill and replace them with a new federal Community Safety and Wellness Bill that will be developed through a People’s Process—sustained community engagement led by people directly impacted by the criminal legal system, including currently and formerly incarcerated people.

Freedom Labs
A national partnership between PolicyLink, the Center for Popular Democracy, and Law for Black Lives, Freedom Labs are intensive workshops designed to support local organizers and community leaders who are advocating to divest funding from the criminal-legal system and invest those resources directly in infrastructure that strengthens their communities. Through a series of training sessions and workshops, participants learn new skills, build community, and learn about similar campaigns in their regions. The first two regional Freedom Labs were held in the Midwest (Milwaukee, WI in November 2019) and the South (Nashville, TN in January 2020).

Building Beyond Policing
In January 2020, PolicyLink was the lead convener of the first Building Beyond Policing national conference. The goal of the convening was to build alignment around a principled, long-term movement to transform our safety infrastructure away from one focused on criminalization and surveillance to one centered in community investment and wellbeing. Co-hosted by fourteen national and regional organizations, the event brought together seasoned and younger activists, organizers, advocates, researchers, and academics who are building community-based campaigns, programs, and models to imagine and build a world without policing, including divest/invest campaigns, alternative responses to crises, and transformative justice programs.

Reducing the Harm of Policing
While visioning and building an equitable and just system that keeps all communities safe, PolicyLink also works to reduce the harm of our current policing system, including shifting the narrative about policing, limiting the power of police unions to weaken public safety, and, through the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, strengthening the use of force standard and making police misconduct records more transparent in California.