September | October 2012

OJJDP Announces $1.5 Million Grant To Reduce Youth Violence in Philadelphia

Photo of Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator for OJJDP, announcing that the City of Philadelphia will receive a fiscal year 2012 Community-Based Violence Prevention grant.© City of Philadelphia. Photograph by Kait Privitera.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter (left) listens while Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator for OJJDP, announces that the city of Philadelphia will receive a Community-Based Violence Prevention grant of
$1.5 million.

On September 19, 2012, OJJDP Acting Administrator Melodee Hanes announced a $1.5 million grant to enable Philadelphia to expand its efforts to reduce violence among youth. The grant, awarded through OJJDP's Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program, will support the Philadelphia CeaseFire project. Philadelphia CeaseFire combines statistical information and street knowledge to identify where to concentrate antiviolence efforts, intervene in violence, and change community norms regarding violence.

Philadelphia's homicide rate is more than double that of New York and Los Angeles. Between 2008 and 2010, more than half of Philadelphia's shooting victims were children and young adults. In 2011, three of four homicide victims were African American males.

Philadelphia CeaseFire logo.Hanes made the announcement during a press conference at Philadelphia's City Hall. Other speakers included Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Zane Memeger. The other cities receiving fiscal year 2012 Community-Based Violence Prevention grants are Baton Rouge, LA; Detroit, MI; and Los Angeles, CA.

Also on September 19, Attorney General Eric Holder and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary announced that Philadelphia and three other cities—Camden, NJ; Minneapolis, MN; and New Orleans, LA—had been selected to join the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

Established at the direction of President Obama in 2010, the forum brings together federal, state, and local partners in a collaborative effort to address youth violence. The other cities in the forum are Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Memphis, TN; Salinas, CA; and San Jose, CA.

The cities have rallied local stakeholders—police, educators, public health and other service providers, faith and community leaders, parents, and youth—to develop comprehensive strategic plans to combat local youth violence. The cities' plans are data driven and address youth violence through a range of strategies, including prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry.

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy are the forum's federal partners. The partners organized a working session and two summits in Washington, DC, where cities reported on their progress and shared promising strategies. Cities have also been provided with access to technical assistance in developing their plans and identifying and addressing implementation challenges.

A recent, independent, interim assessment of the forum's work in participating cities, conducted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Temple University's Department of Criminal Justice, indicated promising results and progress to date.

Resources:

OJJDP's Model Programs Guide provides a detailed description of the Operation Ceasefire model, originally developed by the Boston Police Department's Youth Violence Strike Force.

Additional information about OJJDP's Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program is available online.

To learn more about the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, read About the Collaboration, review the Logic Model, and visit Forum in the News.