Health Solutions Create Safety is a robust list of 36 replicable programs or interventions and 25 policies that respond to social challenges with public health solutions rather than punitive criminal justice processes. This resource was developed by a workgroup of the National Criminal Justice and Public Health Alliance to help communities achieve shared safety.
We can achieve community safety by prioritizing dignity and healing for all. The practices that can achieve community safety stem from a public health framework that is evidence-based and prioritizes rehabilitating people, reducing harm, and using trauma-informed principles to lead people back to health and the pursuit of happiness.
And yet we live in a country where we arrest 1 out of every 3 people, where Black men and women live their lives expecting to have conflict with law enforcement, and people who have experienced or witnessed trauma are frequently criminalized for behaviors that are often a logical response to trauma and poverty.
Communities know how to keep people safe and healthy
Health Solutions Create Safety is a robust list of 36 replicable programs or interventions and 25 policies that respond to social challenges with public health solutions rather than punitive criminal justice processes. These programs and policies represent innovations for stakeholders invested in reducing criminal justice involvement for members of their own communities while upholding community safety goals.
Programs and policies that center and support people who are often unjustly cast to the margins of society ensures a powerful foundation for long-term, sustainable impact. We hope this menu of options helps communities reach shared safety.
How to use this resource
Use some or all of the examples in this resource to advocate for evidence-based, culturally responsive, and community-centered programs. While the programs, interventions, and policies are arranged into categories, many programs fulfill the goals in several categories (housing solutions and reducing harm, for example). We highlight specific programs, general types of interventions, and policies worth pursuing. These all support building sustainable, healthy communities.
We encourage you to use this resource in the following contexts:
- At a community meeting with your local elected official to advocate for these types of programs
- At a discussion with your county’s criminal justice coordinating committee
- During municipal (city, town, county, or state) budgeting processes
- In conjunction with a description of your organization’s similar program(s) to advocate for “health instead of punishment”