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Community Violence Intervention Program in Indianapolis

U.S. Department of Justice recognizes Community Violence Intervention Program in Indianapolis for its work with Project Safe Neighborhood

A group from several different Marion County Criminal Justice Agencies received the Outstanding Innovative Prevention Reentry Strategy Award

Indianapolis (STL.News) Acting United States Attorney John E. Childress announced today that the Department of Justice has recognized the Community Violence Intervention Program in Indianapolis for Outstanding Innovative Prevention/Reentry Strategy in support of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Initiative.

“This program and the group who has worked so hard for its success are worthy of recognition,” said Childress.  “They saw a need, developed a plan, and have seen some promising results for those on probation who desire to choose a different path in their community.”

“The Community Violence Intervention Program is a proven approach to reduce violence in neighborhoods,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.  “Director of Community Violence Reduction Shonna Majors and IMPD leadership has worked with partners and stakeholders across the city to lead on this important initiative. Thanks to their efforts, Indianapolis has a more focused, more effective strategy to reduce violence and get at-risk individuals the help they need.”

Project Safe Neighborhood: Community Violence Intervention (PSN: CVI) program focuses on individuals currently on probation who have been linked to gun crimes and non-fatal shootings within Indianapolis.  The program, which focuses on a small group of individuals (between 10-20 participants), provides participants with resources intended to reduce recidivism.

The program started as a result of the United States Attorney’s Office through the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative, reaching out to the Marion County Probation Office, the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

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The theme for the PSN: CVI presentation is “we want you alive, safe and successful.” Thus, the program allows participants to engage with resource partners who aid with job placement, vocational training, transportation assistance, education, and mental health counseling.  The program also includes information about the legal consequences that can occur if the individuals stay on the path they currently are on.  However, the goal of this program is to steer individuals towards the resource partners and prevent recidivism.  The participation with the resource partners is encouraged but voluntary.  During the program, the probationers hear from the Mayor’s Office, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, The United States Attorney’s Office, and local resource partners who are provided through the Mayor’s Office.

PSN: CVI is conducted at locations in various neighborhoods around the city of Indianapolis.  The neighborhoods are chosen based on their high levels of gun violence.   PSN: CVI began on March 14, 2019. The group decided to conduct meetings quarterly, and always in the evening to ensure that as many members of the community as possible can attend.  This year the group has only had one virtual meeting due to the current pandemic.  The group plans to meet virtually until they can safely meet in person.

The program has already produced results: Thus far, the participants’ violations have been minimal, and several participants have taken advantage of the resources that have been offered through the program. That’s why the theme of PSN: CVI, enumerated at each meeting, is stark: “We want you alive, safe, and successful”.

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The following are the individual that have created the Project Safe Neighborhood: Community Violence Intervention Program in Indianapolis:

  • Peter Blackett- United States Attorney’s Office
  • Jennifer Joy- Marion County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Shonna Majors- Indianapolis Mayor’s Office
  • Megan Durbin- Marion County Probation Office
  • Christine Kerl- Marion County Probation Office
  • Sandra Bryan- Marion County Probation Office
  • Matthew Thomas- Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
  • Michael Wolley- Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Revitalized in 2017, PSN is a critical piece of the Department of Justice crime reduction efforts.  PSN has focused on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today