Harris County Communities: A Call for True Collaboration

Report: Harris County Communities: A Call for True Collaboration – Restoring Community Trust and Improving Public Safety (Jan 2013)

Summary: Harris County Report Executive Summary (Jan 2013)

Press Release: New Report Calls for A Working Partnership Between Law Enforcement and Black and Hispanic Communities to Improve Public Safety and Increase Prosperity (Jan 28, 2013)

TCJC’s Harris County Reconciliation Project, established in 2009, has worked to build community engagement and cross-cultural collaboration among diverse populations to better advocate for more fair and responsive government policies.  This new report relies on data to identify a few of the policies that unfairly harm the black and Hispanic communities in Harris County.

Specifically, the disproportionate enforcement of drug policies through increased arrest, prosecution, and conviction of people in the black community, and the use of local public safety resources to target unauthorized immigration in the Hispanic community, result in long-term, widespread communal harms.  Such harms include weakened and divided families, increased poverty through barriers to employment and education, loss of housing opportunities, and decreased trust among community members and those responsible for public safety and the administration of justice.

This report is a call for community reconciliation and true collaboration.  By building on a shared understanding of the negative impacts created by these ingrained, racially targeted policies, Harris County stakeholders can work together to restore community trust and improve public safety.