March | April 2014

DOJ Announces National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice Initiative

DOJ COPS logoOn April 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the creation of the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice grant initiative at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director’s Forum in New York, NY.

Associate Attorney General Tony West made the announcement during the forum, which was convened to respond to the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and discuss the disconnect between the justice system and communities of color, share promising strategies, and explore creative solutions. My Brother’s Keeper is a national call to invest in collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches to build resilience, empower, and foster community engagement and participation for young men and boys of color.

“There are still too many pockets of America where folks are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration; when negative contacts with the criminal justice system are disproportionately felt by communities of color—especially young men of color, half of whom, one recent study showed, will have at least one arrest by age 23,” said Associate Attorney General West.

COPS and OJJDP, along with other DOJ components, have partnered to administer the $4.75 million Community Trust initiative, which seeks five sites to implement and test strategies to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias, and support racial reconciliation in communities of color.

During the forum, Associate Attorney General Tony West and Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, Office of Justice Programs, met with civil rights and law enforcement leaders.

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More information about the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice solicitation and about the COPS Resource Center is available online.