The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) evaluated the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s (MPAC) Safe Spaces program and found that the program as implemented was not successful, but some aspects showed potential. The full NIJ report is available and scholarly reports forthcoming. This research brief, written in collaboration with START, shares key lessons learned to help guide other programs and policies. Community-based violence prevention programs, including those utilizing a public health approach require adequate community participation, expertise, and funding. During the implementation phase of the Safe Spaces project, the UIC researchers found that many of the community sites had inadequate buy-in, preparation, and resources to establish and sustain violence prevention programming. Thus, we conclude that successful implementation by community-based organizations hinges on three components: 1) community-buy in; 2) community resources and capacity, and; 3) supplemental external support and capabilities.
Weine, Stevan, and Chloe Polutnik Smith, William Braniff, Max Erdemandi, Liberty Day. 2019. "What Does a Community-Based Organization Need to Successfully Implement a Public Health Approach to Preventing Violent Extremism?." START, College Park, Maryland. June. https://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/UIC_MPAC_START_SafeSpaces_CommunityBasedOrganizations_June2019.pdf