Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) will serve five high-need schools (Hamilton K-8, Hamilton High, Raleigh-Egypt Middle, Raleigh-Egypt High, and Sherwood Middle in the city limits of Memphis) as an OJJDP Project Site, developing and expanding evidence-based collaborative strategies for school safety and youth violence reduction through a service network of community-based organizations (CBOs) including Memphis Bears Inc. PAL (MBI PAL) and Young Man University. A minimum of 425 youth and their families will receive “service backpack” case management services from these CBOs, with a focus on mentoring, afterschool programming, and family-based treatment. Additionally, the CBOs entering into an MOU with MSCS for this project will provide preventive services to the five schools, with a focus on social skills training. Collectively, these five schools serve 3,235 students, 84% of whom are African American and 12% of whom are Hispanic/Latino. Thus, the evidence-based strategies and other services provided by the CBOs will be laser-focused to promote racial equity and remove barriers to access and opportunity (Priority 1(A)). A strong stakeholder group, including MSCS mental health and family engagement staff, school liaisons, youth and families, as well as juvenile justice stakeholders, will support the CBO service network and guide an annual strategic planning process that includes this priority focus. MSCS anticipates that the project will yield positive results for referred youth regarding the OJJDP-specified performance measures as well as positive results for participating schools in terms of school climate and overall violence reduction. In Year 3, reporting of project successes and project sustainability needs will incorporate the Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Justice Board.