Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,125,000)
Justice Innovation, Inc. doing business as the Center for Justice Innovation (Center), through its Opportunity Youth Part, proposes to implement the Community Youth Violence Intervention Initiative; a multi-layered public health anti-violence intervention that aims to reduce violence, especially gun violence, committed by emerging adults in New Rochelle, New York.
The Center will employ multiple strategies aimed at changing norms around violence in the community and providing emerging adults with the opportunity to become positive change makers and avoid justice involvement. Activities will include: 1) utilizing credible messengers to conduct street outreach, interrupt violence, and connect with high-risk youth as community violence interventions; 2) youth-led project-based approaches informed by crime prevention through environmental design strategies to increase safety in the community; 3) individual engagement using a transformative mentoring approach with a credible messenger; 4) group-based interventions in which participants will receive training in restorative justice and circle-keeping; 5) economic mobility strategies, such a providing career counseling and soft skill development, to address youth's disconnection from the workforce and economic opportunities; and 6) aftercare support for youth participants.
The project aims to reengage disconnected emerging adults from New Rochelle and support their enrollment in and completion of socioemotional, educational, and economic services and employment opportunities to divert them away from the criminal justice system and boost their economic self-sufficiency, stability, and future orientation, and improve the community's response to violence and violent crime-related and firearm arrests within the emerging adult population.