New York , NY
Analyzing data on police response to mental health crises by neighborhood to understand disproportionate impacts and potential avenues for change.
Each year, the New York Police Department responds to around 200,000 calls related to people experiencing mental health crises. These responses can result in ineffective care, further trauma, or even violence and death. During a mental health crisis, a person of color is disproportionately more likely to experience violence at the hands of police. Hester Street is a New York City-based nonprofit that provides urban planning, design, and development expertise to support community-led change in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, and their goal is to understand how police response to mental health crises disproportionately affect communities of color in New York City. For this project, they will partner with Communities United for Police Reform, a leader in police reform with a strong network of community members directly affected by policing practices; and the Brooklyn Movement Center, a Black-led membership organization of primarily low- and moderate-income residents in Brooklyn that fosters local leadership and campaigns.
Hester Street will use data on neighborhood demographics, EMS response, and mental health conditions from New York City Open Data, as well as data collected from community members through interviews and surveys to build an interactive mapping tool. This tool will provide information on mental health community-care facilities and resources, police interactions, and EMS response at the neighborhood level. Hester Street will also use the feedback gathered from the community to make sure that the tool can help organizers and activists in their efforts to fight for safer responses to mental health crises.
Brooklyn Movement Center, Communities United for Police Reform, and other organizing and advocacy groups will be able to use this tool in their organizing efforts to advocate for legislative and budget justice in mental health crisis response. This product will provide essential information for advocates about the neighborhoods with the highest concentration of police-related mental health response, the demographics of those neighborhoods, and the resources that those communities have to address mental health crises.