Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It’s called “Just Safe,” and it’s aimed at changing the conversation about crime, especially in the wake of the recent mass shootings.
The group Californians for Safety and Justice has released a commercial, narrated by actress Jennifer Lewis, making the point that safety isn’t just the absence of crime – it is the presence of well-being.
The group’s executive director, Tinisch Hollins, said these shootings and others plague a society that neglects mental health.
“So, the goal of this is to invite conversation about doubling down on investments that lead to well-being,” said Hollins, “like mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, education.”
The campaign applauds efforts to heal communities, such as the announcement last week from the California Victims Compensation board of a $2.5 million grant to open three new trauma recovery center offices in Stockton and Bakersfield.
The state’s 19 trauma recovery centers offer mental health treatment, help with medical expenses, and support groups for victims of violent crime.
While accountability is important for people involved with the justice system, Hollins said she agrees with the state’s efforts in recent years to prioritize rehabilitation over punishment. She called post-incarceration programs that help people re-enter society “a wise investment.”
“Removing barriers, making sure that they have the resources they need when they return home,” said Hollins, “keeps us all safe, prevents more crime from happening, and helps our economy, because we have more folks to be able to play a role.”
She noted that right now, people who’ve paid their debt to society often fail to recover when they face huge obstacles to finding employment and housing, and must comply with onerous legal requirements.
Find out more about the campaign online at ‘JustSafe.org.’