Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $91,731)
East St. Louis, Illinois is commonly considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. The homicide rate is more than twice as high as that of neighboring St. Louis, Missouri. The population is more than 98% African American, with 44% living bellowing the federal poverty level, and the community is plagued with a culture of lawlessness. PSEG specifically targets areas with the highest gun and gang violence rates in the Illinois Southern District. PSEG led by United States Attorney Rachelle Crowe, has made the decision to expand the target area and focus on Priority Violent Offenders as well as prevention strategies for the FY22 project period. This project uses the evidence-based approach that police tend to be particularly successful when they focus on specific high violence street blocks or address clusters, known as “hot spots.” For the FY22 project there will continue to be an emphasis in on gang-related drug trafficking and an increased focus on prevention targeting at-risk juveniles. The targeted area for this initiative consists of East St. Louis, Washington Park, Centreville, Alorton, and Brooklyn, Illinois. This area will receive intense policing, using a variety of techniques to reduce five specific types of crime: homicides, robberies, non-domestic battery assaults, gun-related crimes and nonfatal shootings, without simply moving crime to a nearby location. The initiative involves partners including but not limited to: the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Illinois, law enforcement, local police departments, St. Clair County Probation, the U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Hoyleton Youth and Family Services will serve as the lead social service provider and fiscal agent over the project. This team will work to build community stakeholders and develop strategies to resolve some of the complex social problems that affect the targeted area. The most important deliverable in this project is the research analysis that will assess whether this policing strategy is effective in reducing crime in the designated zones. Hoyleton Youth and Family Services will identify a prevention partners part of the FY22 project and a lead law enforcement partner (TBD). Dr. Joseph Schafer has been identified as the research partner and will continue for the FY22 project pending approval from the selection committee and BJA.