Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $107,461)
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
In December 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi (“USAO-SDMS”) launched its Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative in the City of Jackson to fight violent crime. A little over a year later, the USAO-SDMS expanded Project Safe Neighborhoods to cover the cities of Hattiesburg, Meridian, Natchez, and Moss Point, which are geographically dispersed throughout the District. To comply with DOJ guidance, the USAO-SDMS implemented Project Guardian to include the rural areas throughout the District. These combined PSN initiatives offer a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to preventing, fighting and reducing violent crime throughout the District. Through these PSN initiatives, the USAO-SDMS is bringing together all levels of law enforcement with our citizens and local communities to combat violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
Once cases have been sufficiently investigated by our PSN Task Force members, they are presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our local prosecutor partner for joint consideration of prosecution. Federal crimes considered for prosecution include but are not limited to carjackings, business robberies, bank robberies, illegal gun possessions, firearm trafficking, drug distribution, and violent crimes in aid of racketeering. Under these Projects, AUSAs will: (1) have criminals arrested expeditiously; (2) move for detention; and (3) avoid plea deals that will put violent criminals back on the street quickly.
Prevention, prosecution, reentry, law enforcement training and public awareness are components of these Projects. Whether tutoring elementary schools children, conducting presentation to middle and high school students, holding services and job fairs for recently-released felons, to conducting town hall meetings and putting up billboards throughout our communities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to every aspect necessary to combat and reduce violent crime throughout the Southern District of Mississippi.
This District is requesting a grant award of $107,461.00 to further assist our state, local and community partners in our ongoing PSN efforts. This money will be used over 1-3 year period for proactive law enforcement efforts, prevention, education and intervention measures, training, and gang enforcement and reduction actions.