We at Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG), and our nonprofit affiliate, the Institute for Community Studies, were stunned and angered by the 2020 murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., in addition to the many other Black victims of lethal force by police. As organizations that have worked for many years to eliminate racial disparities in the juvenile justice, criminal justice, and mental health systems, we stand firmly in solidarity with friends and neighbors in our communities who strongly believe that this pattern of excessive force must stop.
We supported the peaceful protests in more than 120 cities across our nation that year as the exercise of First Amendment rights that our forefathers intended. The marchers dramatically made the point that this was the time not just for words, but also for action. DSG’s motto is “science in the service of people.” We have lived that motto with our science-based work in criminal justice, juvenile justice, behavioral health, and education for the past four decades. We reaffirm our commitment to creating a fair and just society for all Americans.
At that pivotal moment, we recommitted our skills, our work, and our staff to the goals of reducing racial inequality and systemic injustice, nationwide. In particular, and as a first step, DSG began posting policy, legal, operational, and other “best practice” literature that speaks to the need for fundamental police reform. We believe this concentration of progressive literature contributes to America’s healing process, so that reform can proceed in the direction of truly lasting change that redresses so much deep, nationwide pain.
We also are working with our peers to inform citizens, mayors, local law enforcement officials, and federal and state officials about best practices and policy alternatives that can contribute to meaningful police reforms that reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of excessive force by police. We encourage our staff to continue to contribute to the achievement of these goals through their professional and personal activities. The responsibility belongs to each of us to work toward change that is meaningful and lasting.
|Marcia I. Cohen
|Alan M. Bekelman