|Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services
U.S. Department of Justice
Lawmakers, law enforcement and community activists agree that effective public safety strategies must include a variety of responses to crime and criminal behavior. Mass incarceration and a focus exclusively on arresting and jailing offenders has not provided sustainable solutions.
The community policing philosophy requires that police use holistic and proactive approaches to improving the health and safety of our communities, and for this reason the COPS Office offers the field support on critical alternatives to incarceration: successful reentry and the use of treatment courts. Community policing officers play a very important role in building trust with returning citizens, and in supporting efforts to reduce recidivism rates, while treatment courts (veterans, drug and mental illness) can address the underlying root causes of some criminal behavior.