Community justice and public safety

In May 2017, the Community Justice Film Series explored how public safety relates to community justice. Since the early 1990's, community justice has long been connected to the way the court system and judicial process involves the community (reference). But we say that community justice and public safety is so much more than the judicial process. Communities of color, LGBTQ people, poor people, and other marginalized groups, are constantly surveilled and criminalized. As acclaimed lawyer and author Michelle Alexander accurately describes, mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. How can communities take back control over their own safety? How are those most impacted by laws and policies that criminalize black and brown bodies, and other marginalized people, have a direct role in shaping those laws and policies? Read more perspectives from film series partners in our op-ed published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Approximately 100 community members filled the Calhoun Center in Richmond's Gilpin Court neighborhood to watch the following short films and develop action-oriented solutions to addressing community justice in public safety.  

When a kid gets in trouble at school, we used to send them to the principal's office. Now, we're suspending, expelling or even arresting kids for the smallest misbehaviors. This short film from Brave New Voices explains this trend called the School-To-Prison pipeline. 

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What are the odds that you will go to prison? 1 out of 17 white guys wind up behind bars at some point. How many black guys can expect the same thing? 1 out of 3. More Black Men Are In Prison Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850. Why? This short film from Brave New Voices explains some of the reasons. 

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There's an alternative to our current, failing criminal justice system. This short film from Brave New Voices explains restorative justice. Brave New Films is at the forefront of the fight to create a just America.

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We suggest that at the root of public safety is the basic human desire to live in consciously caring neighborhoods, where children are able to play outside without worry, where elders are comfortable with moving about, and where there is a sense of community, respect, and neighborliness. When we understand how these ideals are necessary to one another, we are better able to assert our needs — to one another as citizens as well as through policy and law.
— Estes, Johnson, Manley, and Reed, Op-Ed published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 2017


*Organizations are partners of the Community Justice Film Series. If you have additional books, articles, and other research to contribute to the list, please send us a message.


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