Dear Commons Community,
On Monday, the City University of New York Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the the Center for Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Center was originally established at U.C.L.A. by Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff as a national research center focused on interactions between the police and the communities. Supported by a $1.5 million gift from the Ford Foundation and another $1 million from Atlantic Philanthropies, Dr. Goff and the center will open this summer.
The move will place John Jay at the forefront of a national conversation on race and policing. As reported in the New York Times:
“We’re having a moment in police and criminal justice reform in the United States, and the beating heart of police reform begins in New York,” Dr. Goff said in an interview. “New York is in the vanguard, and when you have the entire of New York City agreeing on the need for some kind of a change, that’s a powerful thing.”
He will direct the center and also teach at John Jay.
[President of John Jay] Jeremy Travis said, “John Jay is the most diverse of CUNY’s senior colleges, so these issues involving interactions with the police are not far removed from the lives of our students.”
“This research fits with the DNA of John Jay,” he added.
It also coincides with the Ford Foundation’s focus on inequality. Darren Walker, the foundation’s president, said one of its priorities was “improving relations between communities of color and law enforcement.” He described New York as “a laboratory for policing practices and innovation in law enforcement.”
In 2014, John Jay, in partnership with Yale Law School and U.C.L.A., among others, received a $4.75 million grant from the Justice Department to establish the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. Directed by David Kennedy, it has a goal of improving relationships between communities and the criminal justice system. Dr. Goff was one of the principal partners in the initiative.
Dr. Goff, 38, an associate professor at U.C.L.A., is currently on leave as a visiting scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
The Center for Policing Equity’s agenda is to improve the morale of the police and the community’s perception of officers. As part of its research, it will collect data from local law enforcement agencies to try and determine where disparities in policing arise from bias.”
Congratulations all around!