Our Initiatives

Safety & Justice

Safety is fundamental to the health and vitality of communities. People need to know that their children can walk to school without fear, and that their streets and parks are peace­ful places. Safety is also critical to attracting communi­ty-minded businesses and keeping residents engaged with their neigh­borhoods. When communities are safe, local economies can flourish.

By contrast, in places where opportunities are scarce, the likelihood of people getting caught up in a life of crime is much higher. LISC is committed to nurturing community ecosystems that promote the prosperity and dignity of their residents—conditions that keep people from entering the justice system in the first place, and that support those returning from prison to build successful lives.

LISC’s approach to crime reduction focuses on high crime places–neighborhoods and the specific streets or intersections where crime is a serious problem. It brings together partners with different information, perspectives and resources relevant to those problems. In doing so, LISC seeks to reduce crime but also build the trust and infrastructure that make communities resilient and safe.

We also invest in programs that work to keep young people from getting ensnared in the criminal justice system, as well as inititiaves to support returning citizens as they reconnect with the community and to help them contribute their talent and experience to the larger society and economy.

How we do it

  • We offer guidance, training and peer networking. In addition to direct training, we share lessons and tools culled from successful community-oriented crime reduction programs across the country.
  • We help build community-law enforcement partnerships. These include collaborations with prosecutors, sheriffs and judges, in addition to police forces, dedicated to collaborating with residents. We've been doing this since 1994, especially as a technical assistance provider for the Department of Justice Community Based Crime Reduction initiative.
  • We support pre- and re-entry programming and criminal justice reform initiatives. These run the gamut from youth mentoring and violence prevention programming to probation refortm to our network of Financial Opportunity Centers, which help formerly incarcerated people stabilize their finances and train for good jobs.
  • We help communities create and maintain playing fields and courts, redevelop parks and offer quality after-school and summer programs for youth through our sports and recreation programs and our local offices. Because a basic litmus test of the wellbeing of a neighborhood is the wellbeing of its children.
     
Community-Police Partnerships Fight the Opioid Epidemic Where It Lives

An article for Next City looks at the crucial ways a DOJ grant and technical assistance from LISC helped the community of East Dayton tackle opioid-driven crime and disorder.

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“Safety Is Connected to Everything We Do”

A Q&A with Mona Mangat. Mona has been a core member of LISC’s community safety team for more than a decade and was recently named National Director for Safety and Justice. 

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“What Was Done, Was Done Right”

Captain Dean Isabella of the Providence PD describes the partnership of Aleppo Street and the Providence Police Department to help turn a blighted, chronically unsafe area into a neighborhood of opportunity. 

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The What, Why and How of Community Policing

Officer Tracie Miller opens a window onto the experience of policing a neighborhood with a history of mistrust of law enforcement, and what it takes to build a community's trust.

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Place, People, Police

A research report on the effects of place-centric crime reduction efforts in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Rhode Island.

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