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Reimagine Policing to Build Belonging

medium banner photo for policing article
Demonstrators in Trafalgar Square, London. Credit: Matt Dunham/Associated Press
July 2, 2020

In the wake of recent police brutality, people in country after country are marching in solidarity, calling for systemic change. Cities are reimagining policing. Organizations of all sizes and sectors around the world are thankfully taking a stand that Black Lives Matter.
As we think about the policy change that’s possible in this moment, two words stand out: Restorative Justice.  While “Retributive Justice” is the eye-for-an-eye approach of policing and corrections, the “Restorative Justice” vision is about empowering communities to address the underlying challenges that undermine wellbeing and public safety. 
In her latest article for Medium— “Reimagine Policing to Build Belonging”— Kim Samuel lays out a specific policy agenda for how to reform policing and corrections to align with the vision of Restorative Justice.  She takes a close look at what it means to reimagine public safety to focus on community-led conflict resolution and mediation as well as prioritizing investments in mental health and community services.  It’s about supporting the work of healing trauma, achieving good livelihoods, and finding meaningful connection as preconditions for security and peace.  While this is a moment of grief, it’s also a moment for transforming systems.