We at Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG), and our nonprofit affiliate, the Institute for Community Studies (ICS), have been stunned and angered by the murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis, 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 support the peaceful protests in more than 120 cities across our nation as the exercise of First Amendment rights that our forefathers intended. The marchers have dramatically made the point that this is the time for not just 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 this pivotal moment, we recommit 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 will soon begin 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 will contribute 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 will also work 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.
|Alan M. Bekelman
|Marcia I. Cohen