The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School and the Center for Policing Equity have released a five-step policy action plan highlighting the critical next steps to advance policing in America.

Titled “Re-Imagining Public Safety: Prevent Harm and Lead with the Truth,” the recommendations advocate for enhancing law enforcement legitimacy and implementing models that promote assessing, maintaining, and fostering public trust. Collectively, these policies make every prior recommendation we have endorsed, easier, more likely, and more effective. In other words, these are the five steps that we believe can do the most work towards turning a just public safety system from a goal to a reality.

Re-imagining Public Safety

The work to which the Justice Collaboratory and the Center for Policing Equity have contributed collectively represents a near exhaustive list of best practices in reforming and re-imagining policing. Consequently, we recommend individuals review the following documents for a comprehensive list of national policing policy recommendations. We cite these documents throughout our current policy recommendations and have made them available below.

The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice: Key Process and Outcome Evaluation Findings is the independent third-party validation of the DOJ-funded effort to create demonstration sites for what we know works to produce less burdensome and more equitable policing. The findings serve as initial evidence that a focus on procedural justice and the psychological roots of bias can change police behaviors in ways communities notice. The most important findings are that, during a period when the nation’s perception of racial bias in law enforcement increased, that perception decreased across the six cities that participated in the intervention. This was true even among Black residents in so-called “high-crime” neighborhoods, all while residents’ ratings of police legitimacy and neighborhood safety increased.

Principles of Procedurally Just Policing is a collection of model policies for public safety agencies that desire to create a more procedurally just organization—both internally and externally. These policies are the result of both careful study and experience as part of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.

The Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Implementation Guide are the result of a month’s long intensive effort by a team of experts to produce a comprehensive path for aligning policing within the United States with the values of its residents—maintaining safety from violence while reducing bias and the loss of public legitimacy.

A Case Study in Hope documents the remarkable reduction in gun violence in Oakland and the ways in which a direct accounting for Oakland’s history of racially biased policing facilitated a watershed in community safety and made reconciliation between communities and law enforcement possible.

Legitimacy and Procedural Justice: A New Element of Police Leadership articulates both the principles and the practices of procedural justice in contrast to the deterrence model of policing. It is both a primer for those wanting to understand the concepts behind procedural justice and a playbook for those seeking to turn those principles into action.