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Unbundle Policing: Reimagine Public Safety Challenge

How can we decrease unnecessary and adverse law enforcement encounters in order to promote community health and well-being in the US?

Incubator Application Submission Deadline Join the Incubator

Challenge Overview

Are you passionate about improving the role of policing in the United States? Apply for the three-month Stand Together Ventures Lab Unbundle Policing Incubator to develop and strengthen solutions, receive expert instruction and mentorship, and meet potential team members. Ultimately, the Incubator program will prepare teams to submit their solution to the six month Accelerator program in Fall 2021. The Unbundle Policing Accelerator program is an invite-only, six-month wraparound support program that will provide $50,000 per team to deploy or scale much-needed solutions that reduce adverse law enforcement encounters across the United States.

Why Unbundle Policing?

An effective criminal justice system protects people and preserves public safety, respects human dignity, provides restorative justice for victims, removes barriers to opportunity for people with criminal records, and ensures equal justice for all under the law. Police play an essential role in a free society— they are on the front lines preventing and responding to violent crime and calls for help. However, protecting public safety requires partnership with community members, and the current approach to policing in the US often breaks down trust and imposes harm, especially for people of color.

Police are regularly put 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 community-based alternatives to the criminal justice system that are 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 the number of unnecessary law enforcement encounters and the risk of resulting adverse outcomes. By launching this Challenge, Stand Together Venture Labs aims to accelerate a range of better alternatives for individuals experiencing or at risk of a crisis otherwise likely to result in an unwarranted police encounter, emergency room visit, incarceration, and/or 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.

Solutions should:

  • 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

Questions? Contact

Join the Incubator


Accepting Applications

  • Incubator Applications Open
  • Incubator Application Submission Deadline

Refining Applications

  • Incubator [September 7 - November 19]

Evaluating Applications

  • Accelerator Applications Open
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