Community-Based Enforcement

Government enforcement priorities should reflect what communities know and what data tells us are the most dire threats to community health, prosperity, and safety. The leadership of community organizations and impacted residents is needed to create equitable enforcement outcomes that are fully responsive to these threats. 

Currently, a government law office typically decides to pursue a case based on receiving a complaint from a resident - a resident who has the skills, knowledge, & capacity to avail themselves of a government assistance - or based on hearing about an issue in the media. These modes of case generation - commonly referred to as the “squeaky wheel problem” by our government partners - are fundamentally reactive. To become more proactive, equitable, & impactful in their enforcement decisions, offices need support to develop new approaches to community outreach & partnerships. 

Public Rights Project provides research, training, and support to community organizations and to state and local government to implement models of community-based enforcement. If you are interested in working with us, please fill out this form.

  • We conduct research to better understand the experiences, needs and voices of victims of corporate abuse and discrimination.

  • We use that knowledge to help government design processes for outreach, intake, and pursuing cases that are accessible and responsive to impacted communities

  • We help community organizations and residents better understand the enforcement tools and authorities that state and local governments can use to address the issues they are facing.

  • We identify strategic data partnerships to surface actionable data for enforcement from community sources at scale.