Addressing an audience of prosecutors and policymakers gathered in New York City late last month, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder said, “As you’ve noted, what gets measured is what gets funded and what gets funded is what gets done.” In 2013, the federal government sent nearly $4 billion in criminal justice grants across the country to places including St. Louis. States and cities depend heavily on federal funding to augment slashed police and prosecutorial budgets. Resistant-to-change institutions also use federal funds to test new policies. “Federal grants,” according to a new Brennan Center report, “have an outsize impact on state and local criminal justice practices.” And grant money typically flows to agencies and organizations that quantify impact, damage, harm or success. Dollars flow, as Holder says, to what gets measured—and today’s panel being livestreamed out of Washington, D.C. is an insider’s look at what’s getting measured.
Can “evidence-based criminal justice research” improve policing in high crime or urban communities of color? To find out, watch “Stop and Frisk: The Role of Police Strategies and Tactics in Police-Community Relations,” livestreamed today from noon to 1:30 p.m. EST at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Panelists include: Cathy Lanier, chief of police, D.C.; Ronald L. Davis, community oriented policing services, U.S. Department of Justice; Tracie L. Keesee, Center for Policing Equity, UCLA (which had been evaluating the St. Louis County PD’s traffic stops in the months before Michael Brown’s murder).
And ICYMI, check out video from last night’s Town Hall on Race, Policing and Civil Rights, for activist and community leaders’ perspectives on the pace and possibility of stop-and-frisk and police accountability reform.