Readdressing Public Safety

Readdressing Public Safety

The traditional narrative of public safety has relied heavily on policing and the carceral state. Yet, time and again, this approach has proven not only insufficient but often detrimental, especially for marginalized communities. At the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, we believe that the path to true public safety involves addressing the root causes of societal issues, not merely their symptoms.

Why We Can't Rely Solely on Policing and the Carceral State

The heavy dependence on a police and carceral state does not tackle the foundational challenges our communities face. By not addressing these root causes, we are only placing a temporary patch over deep-seated societal issues, often exacerbating them. Moreover, relying excessively on punitive measures reinforces a cycle of systemic discrimination and inequality, disproportionately impacting communities of color.

Rethinking Traffic Safety Project

Rethinking Traffic Safety Project, an initiative dedicated to reimagining the role of police in traffic stops and advocating for safer, more equitable traffic laws. Traditional traffic stops have often escalated into situations of unwarranted violence and confrontation, disproportionately impacting communities of color. This systemic flaw makes it undeniably a racial justice issue, where biased enforcement perpetuates inequality on our roads. Recognizing the urgency of this matter, our initiatives advocate for the separation of routine traffic enforcement from police duties, promoting a safety-first approach. Through extensive research, community dialogues, and policy recommendations, we've illuminated the inherent risks and racial biases of the current system, underscoring the pressing need for a transformative approach to traffic safety.


Our Work

  • Video Overview: Watch this comprehensive discussion on the risks and racial implications of traditional traffic stops.
  • Opinion Piece: An article from The Hill stresses that traffic stops shouldn't be deadly and highlights potential reforms.
  • Reimagining Police Stp[s: Our detailed policy considerations delve deep into removing law enforcement from traffic enforcement in DC,, presenting a clear path toward safer interactions.
  • Learn about our work fighting agaaint discriinatiory pretrial detention along with 

Collaborate with Us: If your organization is working on removing police from traffic stops and would like to learn more about how the Center can assist, click here.

Decriminalizing Mental Health

Decriminalize Mental Health Project, a pivotal initiative aimed at removing police from crisis response situations. It's an undeniable fact: too often, mental health crises are met with force instead of understanding, with jail cells instead of care. This approach not only fails to address the heart of the issue but exacerbates the trauma for those involved. Significantly, this is also a racial justice matter. Communities of color disproportionately bear the brunt of these harsh interventions, deepening racial inequities within the justice system. Our initiatives emphasize the need for compassionate, specialized response units for mental health crises, devoid of police intervention. Through seminars, community outreach, and policy advocacy, we've highlighted the profound consequences of criminalizing mental health and championed the need for change.

Our Work:

Legislative Action: Congresswoman Bush's legislation is a pivotal move toward providing mental health services to victims of police violence, an initiative we passionately support.

Coalition Membership: As proud members of the DC Crisis Response Coalition, we stand with a united front, working toward a comprehensive crisis response system. This system is aimed at addressing mental health issues holistically, without the immediate resort to policing.

Collaborate with Us: If your organization is focused on decriminalizing mental health and is keen to explore how the Center can support your initiatives, click here.

Our Reports

A Growing Dilemma: How Police Brutality Affects Mental Health in Black Communities

Reimagining Police Stops Policy Considerations



At the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, we're redefining public safety, ensuring that it is rooted in community needs, equity, and justice. Join us in this journey to create safer communities for all.