Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $3,000,000)
The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues, Inc. (NPAL) seeks to reduce risk factors such as delinquency, victimization, and juvenile justice system involvement while increasing protective factors such as improved social competencies, commitment to academic success, and improved relations with law enforcement in 100 PAL chapters nationwide. The Building Relationships Between Police and the Community Through Youth Mentoring grant will support PAL chapters to serve youth ages 6–17 at risk of delinquency, victimization, and/or involvement in the juvenile justice system. Targeted youth populations will also include American Indian and Alaska Native youth, youth impacted by opioid misuse and other illicit substances, youth impacted by bullying or cyberbullying, and youth in rural communities. Over the course of 12 months of direct mentoring under the grant, NPAL will provide training to mentees, mentors, families, and staff on the topics of youth protection, social media literacy to prevent bullying, and substance misuse prevention. Through small group mentoring activities, NPAL seeks to build trust and strengthen relationships between youth and local law enforcement agencies to improve academic performance and reduce negative outcomes, including youth delinquency, substance use, and gang participation. In partnership with local juvenile courts, parole offices, and legal agencies, PAL chapters will also seek to grow their uniquely law-enforcement led Diversion and Anti-Recidivism programs to reduce youth entry into the juvenile justice system and/or expunge criminal records after successful completion of the PAL program. Subrecipient activities will include training opportunities in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children Inc., Rutgers University Miller Center of Community Protection and Resilience, and the Center for Personal Protection and Safety. Subrecipient selection will be informed by demonstration of satisfactory grant performance, high program quality and capacity, and satisfactory financial controls and internal processes. Once selected, NPAL chapters will perform screenings aligned with the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring benchmark standards to protect youth mentees while developing the most impactful mentor match. NPAL will administer surveys to capture data on the strength and efficacy of mentoring connections, family engagement, and reductions in risky behavior. No portion of this funding will be utilized for research.