The Futures Institute

Building Genuine Safety for All Communities

Policymakers have the ability to deliver safety that works for all communities—without putting more people behind bars. Our Community Safety work area is designed to help catalyze this transformation.

What Community Safety Is All About

Community safety is a framework for keeping communities safe that prioritizes evidence-informed, preventative investments in the root causes of violence and harm. 

The framework centers investments driven by community needs, led by the people who are most impacted by these issues.

What does safety mean to you

Explore our federal grants database.

It’s all about the Benjamins. Find money for community safety programs.

Explore the grants database.

Become a Champion of the Federal People’s Response Act

Sign up for advocacy opportunities and action alerts related to the PRA.

Sign up now.

Read & Support the Federal Agendas of the Community Safety Working Group.

Advance Community Safety Legislation in Your State.

Learn how you can advance a state People’s Response Act in your state.

Get in Touch.
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Download the advocacy letter for the PRA

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This issue brief presents policy recommendations on how evidence-based investments can best keep youth and communities safe.

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This guide explains how state and local lawmakers can use the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to fund community safety projects.

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This brief examines non-carceral solutions for retail theft — while dispelling myths about is and is not happening nationwide.

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Policy Resources for Community Safety

Green spaces & community safety: A primer

Posted April 2024

Extensive evidence shows that when we invest in trees, parks, and other changes to our community spaces, we can dramatically improve safety — while making our neighborhoods healthier, more beautiful, and more welcoming! The greenspace primer summarizes just a few of the studies that show this strong connection

Youth safety that works: Evidence-informed investments for keeping youth & communities safe

Posted Feb. 2024

This issue brief presents policy recommendations on how evidence-based investments can best keep youth and communities safe.

Fact sheet: Policy solutions on retail theft

Posted Feb. 2024

Understand retail theft and find real, safety-focused solutions. 

Retail theft in US cities: Separating fact from fiction

Co-authored with the Brookings Institute.

Posted May 2024

From California to Capitol Hill, concerns over shoplifting have captured public attention across the United States and fueled momentum to further criminalize retail theft. Already, this punitive turn is producing serious consequences for communities.

A new community safety blueprint: How the federal government can address violence and harm through a public health approach

Co-authored with the Brookings Institute.

Posted May 2024

All people deserve safety in their homes, workplaces, parks, and other community spaces—safety not only from violence, but from the economic, social, and environmental conditions that fuel violence in the first place. Within the United States, however, access to physical safety—just like access to clean air, economic mobility, and high-quality schools—is shaped by where someone lives, with many of our most unsafe places reflecting decades of systemic disinvestment

The infrastructure law’s untapped potential for promoting community safety

Co-authored with the Brookings Institute.

Posted May 2024

In recent months, fears of violence have captured local and national headlines alike. While it is incorrect to say we are experiencing a “crime wave,” the desire to feel safe—and to actually be safe—when walking in your neighborhood, caring for your children, or driving to work each day is an issue that deserves our full focus and evidence-based policymaking. 

Community safety and the American Rescue Plan: A guide to using fiscal recovery grants to advance holistic safety

Posted Oct. 2023

This guide explains how state and local lawmakers can use the American Rescue Plan Act to fund community safety programs.

Harnessing infrastructure grants for community safety

This guide explains how state and local lawmakers can use the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to fund community safety projects.

Getting smart on safety: Evidence on non-carceral investments that work to prevent violence and harm

Posted Oct. 2023

This brief examines non-carceral solutions for retail theft  while dispelling myths about is and is not happening nationwide.

A roadmap to community safety: A guide for local lawmakers

Posted Oct. 2023

This co-authored guide explains how local lawmakers can begin implementing community safety programs and policies.

A roadmap to community safety: A guide for state lawmakers

Posted Oct. 2023

This co-authored guide explains explains how local lawmakers can begin implementing community safety programs and policies.

Advocacy Materials for Community Safety

2024 Legislative agenda of the Community Safety Working Group

Posted May 2024

It is time to embrace a new paradigm that uses evidence-informed interventions to reverse this trend and build safety that works for all people — a paradigm that creates safety not through additional police, jails, or prisons, but through addressing root causes and preventing harms before they occur.

2024 Appropriations agenda of the Community Safety Working Group

Posted May 2024

On behalf of the Community Safety Working Group and the more than 80 undersigned organizations, we urge you to advance a Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations package that prioritizes genuine safety in our communities — a package that adopts a public health approach to safety, while strengthening opportunities for individuals, families, and communities.

Advocacy letter for the People’s Response Act (March 2024)

Posted May 2024

At a time when so many communities are struggling and seeking much-needed stability, this historic and timely legislation will catalyze evidence-informed investments to reduce violence, strengthen community bonds, improve health outcomes, and give all people the genuine safety that they deserve.