Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $500,000)
The Youth Gang Desistance/Diversion Grant Program supports the efforts of jurisdictions struggling with high levels of youth gang violence to implement one or more components of the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model as part of a community- and data-driven desistance/diversion response to gang-related crime and violence. This program is authorized by Pub. L. No. 116-6 Stat. 13, 113.
Through this project, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center proposes to work collaboratively with Shelby County Schools and the Juvenile Justice Board to enhance gang desistance/diversion services currently implemented through G.R.A.S.S.Y. (Gang Reduction Assistance for Saving Societys Youth), an OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. The focus of activities for this project will be to make the G.R.A.S.S.Y. model district-wide, to enhance trauma-informed resources and family supports within the model, and to collaboratively work to make a new G.R.A.S.S.Y. staffing model sustainable beyond the life of the award project period. The goals of the program are to (1) reduce the impact of violence on youth in Shelby County Schools through an expanded G.R.A.S.S.Y. program; (2) prevent violence and promote healing from victimization and exposure to violence by enhancing the G.R.A.S.S.Y. model through evidence-based, trauma-informed interventions; (3) pilot an evidence-based family support intervention as part of G.R.A.S.S.Y.; and (4) continue to refine the G.R.A.S.S.Y. model using community assessments and strategic planning through the Juvenile Justice Board.