Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $252,062)
The primary goals of the OJJDP youth violence portfolio are to promote the wellbeing of children, youth, and families; reduce violence; and improve community capacity to address all forms of violence. This program supports the enhancement of OJJDPs youth violence prevention initiatives by inviting OJJDP localities presently implementing the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum), Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP), and/or the Defending Childhood initiatives to apply for funding to adopt practices and implement models from a different program to achieve their shared violence prevention objectives. This program serves to encourage current initiative sites to enhance, integrate, and align youth violence prevention strategies; coordinate existing resources; engage in community education and outreach; develop and maintain strong collaborations; increase the involvement of youth and families in decision making; and engage the faith community, media, law enforcement, advocates, victim services, business, and other key partners in collective action. These efforts are authorized under Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235).
The City of Boston has a long history of multi-agency, cross-sector collaborations, which have been a hallmark of Bostons violence prevention efforts. Through the Forum, Defending Childhood Initiative, CBVP and most recently My Brothers Keeper, partner agencies and organizations in Boston are working collaboratively to address youth violence comprehensively. The Boston Police Department (BPD) is a leader in collaborative efforts to prevent youth violence. As the lead agency under the Forum, BPD is coordinating the Mayors Office of Public Safety Initiatives strategic planning process, currently underway. This planning process is focused on assessing the needs and service gaps for three interrelated populations -- at-risk youth, returning offenders, and survivors of human trafficking. Current efforts related to the federal initiatives listed above, as well as city-specific programs and initiatives for these populations, are being blended into this process, with an action plan to be completed by November 2015. Funding under this Enhanced Youth Violence Prevention project would support a facilitated implementation of this action plan, in concert with a community-led social norms campaign intended to change attitudes and behaviors regarding youth violence. This social norms campaign will be based on the successes and lessons learned from Our Mattapan a vital component of Bostons Community Based Juvenile Justice Initiative.