Build Community Trust & System Legitimacy
When a community views law enforcement, health providers and other public entities as legitimate, trustworthy and reliable, they are much more likely to seek help and help others.
Why do we need it?
If we fear that an institution will reject or mistreat us because of racial bias, prior justice involvement, immigration status or our child’s gang involvement, we are much less likely to reach out to the police officer in our neighborhood or see a doctor when we’re sick. Crime can spread unchecked, and illnesses go untreated.
How does it help?
In communities where every resident believes in the legitimacy of public institutions, people access the services they need without fear of retribution or discrimination. This has a multiplier effect: the safer and more publicly engaged our neighbors are, the more we are likely to be the same.
Questions To Ask
- What is the trust level between the community and public entities?
- How are law enforcement and other service institutions establishing and maintaining legitimacy among vulnerable communities?
- Is staff trained in the impact of trauma and trauma-informed responses?
Nationally, only 41% of survivors report the crime to police, not including undocumented immigrants, who are least likely to report.
What does it take to implement?
- Conduct an assessment of community perceptions about public agencies and design strategies to address concerns.
- Develop culturally relevant and trauma-informed training for law enforcement and other public officials.
- Ensure that immigration status, gender identity, race/ethnicity, age or disability is never an issue when reporting crime or seeking services. Raise awareness of this practice and make interpreters available.
- Increased percentage of public employees and contract providers trained in trauma-informed responses.
- Increased availability of interpreters and/or cultural experts.
- Increased percentage of staff who live or have lived in the communities they serve.
- Greater alignment between the demographic composition of service institutions and the communities they serve.
- Increased percentage of reported crimes.