Are you passionate about improving public safety and policing in the United States?
Stand Together Ventures Lab is launching the Unbundle Policing: Reimagine Public Safety Challenge, which will support participants in 2 phases:
- The [Virtual] Incubator (EXTENDED DEADLINE AUGUST 2, 12pm ET) is for anyone who wants to learn more before submitting an idea. It supports budding entrepreneurs in developing or strengthening solutions in preparation for the next phase. Incubator participants will receive expert instruction and mentorship, the opportunity to meet potential team members, and access to in-kind resources, including cloud services platforms (AWS Activate credits), project planning, product design (Adobe Creative Cloud licenses), collaboration software, and impact consulting services.
- The Accelerator (applications due November 19) is the phase in which applicants receive funding based on their solutions to help pilot or scale their models. Participation in the Incubator is not required. The Accelerator is a six-month wraparound support program that will provide an immediate $50,000 per accepted team to deploy or scale much-needed solutions that reduce adverse law enforcement encounters across the United States. Select teams may receive additional funding or investment post-Accelerator from the over $1 million available.
Why Unbundle Policing?
An effective criminal justice system protects people and preserves public safety, respects human dignity, provides restorative justice for victims and perpetrators, removes barriers to opportunity for people with criminal records, and ensures equal justice for all under the law. Protecting public safety also requires input from and partnership with community members.
However, the current approach to policing in the US often breaks down trust and imposes harm, especially for people of color. Communities and lives are harmed when police engage in situations they are not trained for or that could be better addressed by alternative solutions. To unbundle the all-encompassing nature of policing, we need collaborative, community-based alternatives developed, strengthened, and adapted nationally for a more comprehensive approach to public safety and well-being.
In partnership with MIT Solve, Stand Together Ventures Lab is launching the Unbundle Policing: Reimagine Public Safety Challenge – an Incubator and Accelerator for social ventures focused on decreasing unnecessary law enforcement encounters and resulting adverse outcomes. By launching this Challenge, Stand Together Ventures Lab aims to accelerate a range of better alternatives for point of crisis situations otherwise likely to result in an unwarranted police encounter, emergency room visit, incarceration, injury, or death.
This Challenge is looking for a wide range of solutions, such as:
- Alternatives to deploying police response to 911 calls or traffic enforcement that don’t require armed responses, whether a noise complaint, car accident, or other incident;
- Alternatives to police-enforced legal sanctions, particularly those related to mental illness or substance use disorders;
- Increased transparency, public input, and evaluation of police goals and functions within a community;
- Improved approaches to recruiting, training, evaluating, and supporting police officers in their roles;
- Better coordination between police, healthcare, and community-based organizations;
- Other alternatives or approaches that help reduce the number and risk of adverse encounters and/or that support the ability of police to focus on core threats to public safety.
- Utilize data and technology to better understand and divert unnecessary law enforcement encounters;
- Engage diverse stakeholders such as law enforcement, justice-involved individuals, and community-based organizations;
- Incorporate conflict resolution, mediation, and trauma-informed approaches