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GLOBAL INNOVATIONS ON YOUTH VIOLENCE, SAFETY & JUSTICE

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WHAT WILL THE GLOBAL INNOVATIONS ON YOUTH VIOLENCE, SAFETY AND JUSTICE INITIATIVE DO?

This major multi-year initiative aims to identify and spearhead the most promising global examples of violence reduction and criminal justice transformation, proven through research to be effective, viable and replicable. In today’s polarized societies, solutions are urgently needed as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates existing inequities, and drivers of violence.

To catalyze a global research-based exchange, including the seeding of new strategies in the United States, Salzburg Global Seminar is launching a major multi-year initiative with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the David Rockefeller Fund.

This initiative will bring together a diverse, cross-sector, international and intergenerational group of stakeholders – including young people, formerly incarcerated people and victims/survivors of violence – to identify the most effective, viable and replicable solutions to tackle youth violence and promote youth safety and criminal justice reform.

WHY ARE WE FOCUSING ON YOUTH, SAFETY AND JUSTICE?

Serial failures to redress social, legal, and economic injustice and structural racism underpin violence and disproportionally shape politics, policing, and judicial systems around the world. Yet bold reforms in different jurisdictions suggest that cross-cutting interventions can be cost-effective and foster more humane, inclusive and healthier societies. What can we learn, share and take to scale for long-term results?

In many countries around the world, including the United States, there is growing recognition among policymakers and reform advocates that effective criminal justice reform must look beyond the toolkit and institutions of the criminal justice system itself. In a growing number of settings, innovations based on community-centered, cross-sectoral approaches and socially integrative methods of engaging young people and violent offenders before, during, and after they encounter the criminal justice system, are proving to be more humane, just, and effective.

Key trends and drivers that will influence the future of reform efforts worldwide include:

  • Changing demographics 
  • Decolonization and contested legacies that drive demand for diversity, equity, and inclusion in policing, judicial, and law enforcement structures 
  • Climate change and migration 
  • Unequal representation and access to justice 
  • Constraints on public justice system budgets and shrinking resources for legal aid 
  • Political and societal determinants of (in)justice 
  • Rapid and unequal urbanization with increased spatial and social segregation 
  • Uses and abuses of new technologies 
  • Radical changes in the labor market and future economic opportunities
  • Measures introduced as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic