Community violence takes many forms, including sexual crimes, inadequate protections for children, and systems that do not adequately help survivors of crime after violence has occurred. The safety of our communities varies by state because there is not a mechanism to quickly or easily learn what other states are doing and to learn from policy success. Because of this lack of comprehensive data, many assume states have to start at square one when dealing with different policy issues. Many states have already made progress in various areas that improve community safety. Learning from these states removes the barriers to progress. 

MISSION: Make all communities safer through a comprehensive study of existing state laws designed to inspire change and equip advocates, stakeholders, and lawmakers with tools they need to make their communities safer.

GOAL: Ensure a thorough and relevant analysis of state laws impacting community safety and providing an accessible framework for improvement that advocates, stakeholders, and lawmakers can use. 


HOW IT WORKS: Every state receives a grade through a Report Card that assesses the state on several key areas of law that impact community safety. The assessment includes an analysis of 6 key legal elements that impact the safety of citizens on various levels and the protections provided by state legislative provisions.  


The Challenge grades states on their ability to effectively respond to and prevent various types of community violence and provides every state with a Score Card. Additionally, states are provided a detailed analysis of the 6-element review as well as recommendations for how the state can improve.

These areas are identified in full recognition that other laws and protections are involved with community safety. The framework may be expanded in the future to include these different areas. Some areas of law were left out because other organizations are already comprehensively examining those laws and providing recommendations for improvements. 

METHODOLOGY: The analysis used in the Safe Community Challenge Framework includes best practices and factors identified for determining the protective capacity of state laws in the different areas. It includes additional independent analysis of these laws under the Framework. More details are provided in the Scorecard Analysis Explanation.



A+  96-100
A    91-95
A-  85-90
B+ 80-84
B   75-79
B-  70-74
C+ 65-69
C   60-64
C- 55-59
D+ 50-54
D  45-49
D- 40-44
F   39 and under


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