Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $77,365)
The Southern District of Alabama is made up of the 13 counties located in the southwest corner of the state. The majority of the District consists of rural areas which encompass small municipalities. Mobile, the District’s largest population center, is at the intersection of two major north-south and east-west interstates I-65 and I-10, and is a 30 minute drive to Mississippi or Florida. The Northern Division of the District includes five of the District’s 13 counties. These five counties are among those with the highest rates of poverty in the state.
Alabama’s violent crime rate ticked down 2% in 2021 to 5.1 incidents per 1,000. However, in 2021 Alabama was 38% higher than the national average in terms of the number of violent crimes per capita. The Mobile Police Department’s data for 2021 shows an increase of 18.7% in violent crime over 2020. The homicide rate in 2021 increased by 10.9%, although overall Part I Crime was down 6.6%.
The most serious violent crime problems within the SDAL are repeat violent offenders and gang activity, primarily involving 18-24 year olds often claiming a Neighborhood Based Gangs (NBGs) or group affiliation based on family or geography. Repeat offenders pose a special challenge in the smaller communities of the District. In these areas the ongoing criminal activity and violence perpetrated by a repeat offender is impactful on the entire community. In many instances repeat offenders throughout the District revolved through the state system (several times), and their continued criminal activity has an outsized impact on the communities in which they violate the law.