RELEASE: New CAP Issue Brief Shows How Inclusive Community Engagement Can Improve Public Safety

Washington, D.C — A new issue brief from the Center for American Progress profiles NeighborhoodStat, an initiative developed by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to rebuild trust in government while addressing the underlying causes of crime in 15 public housing developments. NeighborhoodStat is a joint problem-solving process that empowers residents to identify the public safety issues that matter most to their neighborhood and work directly with city leadership to implement community-driven solutions. The report, titled “NeighborhoodStat: Strengthening Public Safety Through Community Empowerment,” offers lessons for jurisdictions of all sizes seeking to create peace through community empowerment.

Together, residents and city leadership are creating safer neighborhoods by expanding access to high-quality social services, economic and educational opportunities, and clean and vibrant public spaces. Among the findings, the brief shows that these efforts contributed to an 11 percent reduction in violent crime and a 35 percent reduction in shootings from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2018.

“Policymakers have been talking about the importance of community engagement for decades, but most cities struggle to reach communities that have been traditionally excluded from power, particularly communities of color,” said Betsy Pearl, author of the brief and senior policy analyst for Criminal Justice Reform at CAP. “What makes New York’s approach unique is that it gives residents more than just a seat at the decision-making table—NeighborhoodStat shifts power back to the community to shape the policies that affect their daily lives. Residents know their communities better than anyone else, and it’s time for cities to start listening to their expertise.”

“NeightborhoodStat reflects a foundational shift in the way New Yorkers are realizing safety: driven by neighborhood priorities, achieved through partnerships between government and empowered neighborhood residents, and aimed at an array of issues from vibrant public spaces to jobs—issues that have not traditionally been viewed as the front line of safety,” Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said. “NeighborhoodStat is a powerful vehicle to amplify neighborhood voices and to build trust between residents and their government, trust that is the foundation of safety.”

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at 202-481-8145 or .