Justice System Reform

The Joyce Foundation’s approach to criminal justice system reform seeks to redefine the standard responses to gun crime of aggressive policing, arrests, and incarceration of young adults who commit non-violent gun offenses. These responses have contributed to serious harms in the same communities that struggle with high rates of gun violence, including police shootings, the absence of trust in and legitimacy of the criminal legal system, and mass incarceration of young men of color. Police have an important role to play in investigating and preventing violent crime, especially gun violence, but in many places that role is compromised by lack of trust, leading to low clearance rates for homicides and shootings, and neighborhoods where carrying a gun is seen as necessary for protection – all of which contribute to a vicious cycle of violence. The Foundation works to reform policing and the broader justice system by building police-community trust and legitimacy, reducing the use of force by police officers, and increasing police accountability; and by developing alternatives to arrest and incarceration for young people who commit nonviolent gun offenses. We also work to develop alternatives to arrest and incarceration for young people who commit non-violent gun offenses, and to reimagine public safety.

Goal: Reduce the harms and racial disparities in the criminal justice system’s response to gun violence.

  1. Reform policing to build police-community trust and legitimacy, reduce the use of force by police officers, and increase police accountability
  2. Develop alternatives to arrest and incarceration for young people who commit non- violent gun offenses
  3. Reimagine the future of public safety
Policy Watch

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Grantee Spotlight

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For more than a quarter century, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have built a global reputation for pursuing data and policy to reduce gun violence. The team marked its 25th anniversary this year in 2021.

Policy Watch

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New Survey Sheds Light on Americans’ 2nd Amendment Views

In 2008, a divided U.S. Supreme Court decided in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense.