Background

The current approach to public safety is not working — for children, for families, and particularly for Black and brown communities that have been devastated by mental health crises, substance use health crises, and criminalization. We must dismantle our public safety system’s instinct to criminalize and replace it with an instinct to provide care.

The People’s Response Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Cori Bush, emphasizes an inclusive, holistic, and health-centered approach to public safety by creating a public safety agency within the Department of Human Health and Services — because communities and experts agree that public safety is a matter of public health. It adopts a new approach to public safety that will save lives, and build systems of care that are rooted in improving the well-being of all communities. This approach must be equitable, health-centered, and preventative to stop violence and harm before it occurs while ensuring that every community has what it needs to flourish.

Programs Funded

The people’s response act provides grant money for programs like

Non-carceral first responders

Community based employment programs

Infrastructural investment

Afterschool and enrichment programs

Social-emotional wraparound services

Cooperatives

Trauma informed healing

Restorative justice

Harm reduction-based treatment of mental health and substance abuse

Mentorship

Community public health services

Survivor services

Vouchers for supportive housing

Violence interruption

Infrastructure investments for parks and green space

Harm reduction-based treatment of mental health and substance use

Community land trusts

School-based health care services

Reentry programs

Take Action

Tell us your vision for public safety and stay informed

What communities have already done

Supportive Housing Instead of Criminalization

The JusticeLA Coalition – a coalition of over 30 grassroots organizations – stopped Los Angeles County’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan. In 2021, the first supportive housing for houseless people was built on the site of the proposed staging area for the expansion. Dynamic land use projects are currently being designed and implemented as alternatives to incarceration and in the direction of the development of a care-first infrastructure. Read more here

Reimagining Communities

The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls works to develop directly impacted women to build hyper-local and community led systems of accountability, safety, and empowerment that includes participatory defense and alternative community safety models. Read more here. 

Care Not Jail

In 2019, Women on the Rise – a collective of formerly incarcerated women – successfully fought for the closure of Atlanta City Detention Center. Now, these same women are working with the City of Atlanta to repurpose the jail into a  community-led holistic care center. Read more here. 

Gun Violence as Public Health

In 2016, Detroit activists and physicians had an idea: what if gun violence was treated as a public health issue? Detroit Life is Valuable Everyday (DLIVE) was founded as a partnership with Sinai Grace Hospital to provide public health interventions that work holistically to address the trauma of gun violence. Physicians work with violence intervention specialists to create engagement, mentorship, and peer support. Learn more about DLIVE here.

Invest in Communities

In 2017, Colorado passed legislation that provided $4 million a year to reinvest and reimagine public safety in two cities disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration. The funds resourced a grant program that focused on community-led violence prevention and economic empowerment. Grants were distributed to community-based organizations to develop a range of employment programs, educational support, and create public spaces for people who have been justice impacted. Read more here

Created by Olena Panasovskafrom the Noun Project Community Protects Community

In St. Louis, the Freedom Community Center works to create community safety through a model that centers building collective power through healing and community-based accountability. They work to reinvest in communities that have high rates of violence. Read more here

Endorsing
Organizations

  • A Bella LaFemme Society
  • Abolitionist Law Center
  • ACLU
  • Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE)
  • Aligned Law
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
  • Bend the Arc:Jewish Action California
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Black & Pink National
  • California Coalition for Women Prisoners
  • Center for Community Change
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Center for Media Justice
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Citizen Action of New York
  • Civil Rights Corps
  • Color of Change
  • Common Justice
  • Community Change Action (Black Freedom Collective)
  • Community Justice Action Fund
  • Community Law and Mediation Services of Northern California
  • Court Watch NOLA
  • Dignity and Power Now
  • Drug Policy Alliance
  • End Police Violence Collective
  • Equal Justice Under Law
  • Families for Justice as Healing
  • Freedom Agenda
  • Greenpeace US
  • Human Impact Partners (HIP)
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Jason Wiener p.c., a public benefit corporation
  • JustLeadership USA
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Law Enforcement Action Partnership
  • Legal Intelligence to Entrepreneurs LLC
  • Legal Services for Prisoners with Children/ All of Us or None
  • Liberation in a Generation
  • LiveFree California
  • Louisiana Survivors for Reform
  • Mijente
  • Movement 4 Black Lives
  • MoveOn
  • National Black Worker Center
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
  • National Employment Law Project
  • National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
  • Organization for Black Struggle
  • Parents Organized for Public Education
  • Policing and Social Justice Project
  • Pretrial Justice Institute
  • Project South
  • Project Turnaround
  • Promise of Justice Initiative
  • Public Justice Center
  • Reale Justice Network
  • Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
  • Root and Rebound
  • San Bernardino Free Them All
  • San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice
  • Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund
  • Sunrise Movement
  • The Arc of the United States
  • The Bail Project
  • The Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust
  • The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
  • Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law
  • Treatment Advocacy Center
  • Voice of the Experienced
  • Voters Organized to Educate
  • Young Women's Freedom Center
  • Youth Over Guns
  • Zealous