Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $621,000)
The MAPS, Jr program is designed to improve community attitudes toward police and decrease youth crime and violence by engaging the youth with their community through positive interactions and building youth skills. This program was developed in collaboration with local leaders and community-based organizations to meet the needs of the youth. Given the strained relationship between the community and police in the nation as a whole and in the broader Chicago region specifically and the level of juvenile crime in the Chicago region, the MAPS, Jr program is needed to improve positive relationships with the community via non-law-enforcement activities that support the needs of youth. The OJJDP Literature Review on Interactions between Youth and Law Enforcement from January 2018 indicated that research shows that “…youths’ attitudes toward law enforcement directly influence their willingness to engage with the police….However, involvement in conventional activities, such as religious activities, athletics, school activities, and employment, has been shown to have a positive effect on attitudes toward police.” The program hopes to improve police-youth relationships by improving attitudes toward the police, engaging youth in positive activities, and increasing local law enforcement’s effectiveness at violence prevention.