In urban areas, gun violence and the justice system’s response are two sides of the same coin. When the dominant response is overly aggressive policing, prosecution and sentencing, too often the tactics deployed result in additional harm to communities already plagued by gun violence.
A prime example: It’s unfair, Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding says, to single out and punish teenagers who feel compelled to carry handguns for protection when our society is awash in “upstream” problems. That includes the easy manufacture and distribution of weapons, government policy that makes it easy to obtain them, and law enforcement institutions that fail to protect all citizens. Alberding laments the disconnect in an interview with H Magazine, a Heinz Endowments publication, that focuses on the role of philanthropy in advancing criminal justice reform. Featured alongside Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and MacArthur Foundation President John Palfrey, Alberding explains Joyce’s investments in justice reform and its goal of helping to promote better responses to gun violence.
Alberding also talks about Joyce’s support for community policing pilots, progressive prosecution practices and a “wildly successful” partnership in Minneapolis where police hand out repair vouchers for broken tail-lights, rather than citations, reducing “the climate of mutual suspicion a bit” between officers and the community.
About The Joyce Foundation
Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.