DOJ Offers Funding of $4.75 Million for
National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice
The Justice Department is seeking applications to create a National Center for Building Community Trust & Justice. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2014, 11:59 p.m. EDT.
The National Center for Building Community Trust & Justice (The Center) will be a concrete response to President Obama’s initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper,” which is a call to action to build public/private collaborative approaches to unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color. The Center will explore, assess, and disseminate information about strategies intended to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias, and support racial reconciliation in communities of color, so that young men in these communities may enter adulthood confident in the promise that justice is distributed equally to all.
What do the terms procedural justice, implicit bias, and racial reconciliation mean in practice?
Procedural justice (sometimes called procedural fairness) describes the idea that how individuals regard the justice system is tied more to the perceived fairness of the process and how they were treated rather than to the perceived fairness of the outcome. In other words, even someone who receives a traffic ticket or “loses” his case in court is likely to rate the system favorably if he feels that the outcome is arrived at fairly.
Implicit bias refers to a collection of unconscious attitudes or beliefs that manifest in behavior towards persons or groups. These implicit biases are automatic, difficult to control, can affect behavior in profound ways and are also illegal if they result in disparate impact. Implicit bias also compromises the effective disbursement of justice and promotion of public safety.
Racial reconciliation is a process through which both criminal justice system practitioners and communities can acknowledge past and present harms and together move beyond them.
The Center will pursue five major goals towards creating bridges of understanding between law enforcement and communities of color:
- selection of pilot sites to test strategies on procedural justice, implicit bias, and racial reconciliation;
- creation of an information clearinghouse;
- expansion of knowledge through new research;
- development of materials to help carry that research into practice; and
- activities that promote public discussion of issues around race and policing.
The Justice Department recognizes that public safety and effective policing are enhanced when there is a mutual commitment to trust and fairness by both law enforcement and the communities they serve. The National Center for Building Community Trust & Justice can forge these crucial partnerships in the many American communities that are trapped in a cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration.
To access the solicitation and apply see: http://www.ojjdp.gov/grants/solicitations/FY2014/NCBCTJ.pdf.
For more information about My Brother’s Keeper see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/my-brothers-keeper