Research Reports

Building Toward a Fair and Just Response to Gun Violence

The Joyce Foundation’s Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program pursues a mission of building safe and just communities, focused on preventing gun violence before it occurs with a holistic approach that includes stronger gun policies, fair policing, and a justice system that minimizes incarceration. Our work at this intersection has unearthed a foundational challenge: The fields of gun policy reform and criminal justice reform operate largely siloed from one another, making collaboration around solutions difficult.

To address this challenge, the Foundation invited 28 leaders from the fields of gun violence prevention, law enforcement, violence intervention, and criminal justice reform to take part in a unique, weeklong retreat in Fall 2019 at West Creek Ranch in Emigrant, Montana. This meeting was designed to explore the intersections between gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform, with the goal of developing an agenda for research, policy and practice that advances a more holistic approach to public safety, aimed at reducing the harms of gun violence and the criminal justice system.

Participants welcomed the opportunity to break down their siloes and dive into meaty topics, such as the need to ground solutions in shared values and the voices of those most directly impacted by gun violence and the criminal justice system; the inaccessibility of research to communities working to reduce violence; the racialized impacts of some gun law enforcement; and the lack of accountability of the gun industry for its impact on communities of color.

The sessions were facilitated by Northwestern University Professor Andrew Papachristos, who prepared this report: Toward A Fair And Just Response To Gun Violence.

Sadly, the COVID-19 crisis thwarted plans for the group to meet again this spring. However, this work is too important to pause, and we will look for ways to reconvene as soon as reasonably feasible. Meanwhile, the Joyce Foundation continues to support research, policy and practice change to make safety and justice the reality for all our communities.

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.

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