Target Area #2 -- Philadelphia

After gaining experience with the coalition model in Dauphin County, the JAC subcommittee identified a second target area in 1992. Based on the original data analysis, which identified Philadelphia as having the highest number and percentage of minority juvenile arrests statewide (65.9 percent), further analysis of data from all 23 police districts was conducted to identify the police district in which the DMC effort could have the greatest possible impact. The 25th Police District was chosen because of its high number of juvenile offenses, high rate of juvenile crime per 100,000 population (the total number of offenses divided by the total juvenile population), high percentage of drug-related offenses, and diverse racial population (40 percent African-American, 35 percent Hispanic, 23 percent white, and 2 percent Asian-American).10 Like Dauphin County's coalition model, the formative meeting of the Philadelphia coalition involved police; probation officers; school personnel; city, State, and Federal representatives; and citywide youth-serving agencies. This group, now known as the East Division Coalition, has held monthly meetings since 1992. A director was hired in 1994 with seed subgrant funds provided by PCCD per JAC's recommendation.

Programs implemented in Philadelphia include:

Bullet Dreams of Tomorrow. This program provides educational and social support to minority juveniles who have had or are at risk of having minor involvement with the juvenile justice system.
Bullet Project Youthlead. This project helps minority juveniles develop and attain positive goals for their future.
Bullet Checkmate. Checkmate decreases the delinquency rate and increases the level of school retention and success among targeted youth through life skills workshops, tutoring and homework assistance, physical fitness and sports, community service projects, and monthly parent group meetings.
Bullet Youth Self-Empowerment Project. This project empowers youth to lead drug-free, crime-free, peaceful, and productive lives through training, tutoring, community service, recreational activities, and special outings.
Bullet Student Anti-Violence Education (SAVE). SAVE focuses on preadolescents by offering conflict resolution and impulse control training for juveniles and adults in addition to positive discipline strategies.
Bullet Truancy and Dropout Prevention Project. This program provides staff intervention and family support in working with schools and courts.

Encouraged by the success of these programs and the effectiveness of the East Division Coalition, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services has assumed the responsibility of providing funding for these programs.

  1. Although there are 23 police districts in Philadelphia, some police districts have maintained their numerical designations from a time when there were more than 23 districts in the city.

Disproportionate Minority Confinement: 1997 Update Juvenile Justice Bulletin   ·  September 1998