Safety, Justice, and Policing: Insights from 2017 Forums That Speak to Today
Between January and September 2017, diverse groups of Americans gathered in nearly 200 face-to-face and online forums to deliberate on community safety, justice, and policing. These deliberative forums often included police officers and community residents who recounted their experiences and concerns and weighed options for change. Locally organized through the network of the National Issues Forums, the forums drew people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
For nearly four decades, the NIF network has brought people together to deliberate on shared concerns and weigh actions to address them. It is often useful to look back at learning from past forums to see what insights they can offer today.
The 2017 forums revealed profound and widespread concerns over the role of law enforcement. These forums suggest that today’s outcry over unjust policing is deep-seated and has been building among Americans of all backgrounds. It is not a passing reaction to recent news, and it is likely to remain potent over time.