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Building Lasting Capacity for Violent Crime Reduction in Rural Communities

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,000,000)

Many communities throughout the U.S. struggle to develop solutions to problems of violence and victimization. This struggle can be especially pronounced in small towns, rural and tribal areas, where vast distances and lack of resources and specialized expertise all work against comprehensive solutions. For 41 years, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has worked in many of these communities, including in the role of training and technical assistance (TTA) partner for various Department of Justice (DOJ)-funded initiatives. Since 1995, we have worked extensively in over 2,400 rural communities in 49 states to improve quality of life and local partner capacity. We will utilize this experience and our extensive network of subject matter experts to provide TTA for three years for up to 55 sites under BJA’s FY2021 Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative Training and Technical Assistance program. We will ensure law enforcement agencies and their community partners have the understanding, capacity, and access to resources necessary to successfully implement Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative (RVCRI) strategies and maximize impact during the program period and after. LISC TTA will focus on four critical elements we have found key to implementing successful community-led, multi-disciplinary safety efforts: (1) Community engagement - building stakeholder involvement and trust; (2) Data and Research - incorporating evidence-informed practices into strategic decision-making processes, (3) Cross-sector partnerships - ensuring all organizations are collaborating with a common vision/mission; and (4) Integrated revitalization responses - ensuring safe, healthy, and violence-free communities. Our activities will include assessing site TTA needs and creating TTA plans, updated annually and tailored to each site, that identify ways to build capacity to reduce violence. We will develop solicitation processes appropriate for smaller agencies, competitively rate, and make awards for ten microgrants to local law enforcement agencies, providing TTA during their award periods. LISC will provide access to, or develop, a range of knowledge sharing products focused on innovative strategies to support community resiliency efforts, partnerships to implement collaborative responses to violence, and community violence intervention and prevention programs appropriate to rural communities. We will utilize webinars with experts in the field, peer sharing meetings between site planning teams, and hybrid remote/in-person meetings of program sites to develop a vibrant community of practice. We will develop a final project report that highlights RVCRI efforts, local impacts, lessons learned, challenges, and overall program impacts to help small towns, rural, and tribal communities identify and respond to violence and victimization.

Date Created: December 2, 2021