WASHINGTON – The Office of Justice Program’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Director Denise E. O’Donnell has announced more than $12 million in awards to address neighborhood-level crime in 14 locations nationwide.
The awards, administered through the BJA’s Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program, will target locations or neighborhoods with significant levels of crime compared to the overall jurisdiction.
The awards were announced at a regional meeting of 2012 BCJI award recipients taking place at Drexel University. Last year, Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood received $599,982 through BCJI. The meeting is focusing on the BCJI sites’ progress and future plans. Meeting participants include Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert K. Reed of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Police Department Deputy Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel, and site coordinators, researchers and community leaders involved in BCJI partnerships.
“BCJI targets persistently distressed local and tribal communities, working with them to develop place-based, community-oriented strategies with coordinated federal support,” said BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell. “These awards will help build and enhance the capacity of communities and criminal justice partners to employ data- and research-driven strategies to create comprehensive strategies to address priority crime problems.”
BCJI awards are made to applicants in cross-sector partnerships comprised of units of local government, criminal and juvenile justice agencies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribal governments. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is the national training and technical assistance provider for the BCJI grantees. With BCJI funding, communities leverage research and innovation, identifying the drivers of crime in a location and developing multi-faceted strategies to reduce it.
BCJI is part of the Obama Administration’s Promise Zones Initiative, a part of President Obama’s Ladders of Opportunity agenda. Under the Promise Zones initiative, the federal government, including the Departments of Justice, Education, Housing and Community Development, Health and Human Services and Agriculture will invest and partner with high-poverty urban, rural, and tribal communities to create jobs, increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, and reduce violent crime.
More information on the BCJI Program is available at: www.bja.gov
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.