Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $462,000)
The Community Oriented Policing Bureau (COPB) of the Shreveport Police Department actively provides a variety of crime-prevention programs. Yet, COPB recognizes a growing need to expand its existing programs aimed at reducing youth violence and to better address the behavioral-health needs of the City’s youth and young adults.
The awarding of the Justice Mental Health Collaboration Program ’s Connect and Protect grant would allow COPB to place greater emphasis on assessing non-criminal mental health issues and assist in identifying and referring young offenders to available non-criminal treatment resources. It would connect available resources and protect vulnerable youths, and communities plagued by youth violence.
COPB and its co-responder, Street Outreach Solution, propose to serve as a community referral and resource center, along with other area mental-health agencies to offer services to young people in need to include parents and family members.
With the Connect and Protect grant, COPB would establish a working relationship with contributing partners to collaboratively modify our community’s approach to addressing crime involving youth and young adults. The community partners supporting these efforts are: Ochsner Health Systems- Injury Prevention Trauma Services, (PROTECT), Northwest Louisiana Human Services District, The Institute for Childhood Resilience, Volunteers for Youth Justice, Advising Gen Z, Shreveport Public Assembly& Recreation, (SPAR), the Boys and Girls Club, and other community outreach agencies as well as our District Attorney office. Each community partner would offer its own specialized services and resources.
The primary goals to be achieved are: 1. promote effective strategies for law enforcement to identify youths suffering from behavioral-health disorders; 2. implement a referral system that aligns young offenders with appropriate treatments 3. consider first, counseling, intervention, and other non-criminal alternatives as opposed to incarceration, and 4. ultimately decrease violence committed by youths.
The target service areas would be geared towards those neighborhoods that are determined statistically to be high-crime areas with emphasis on helping youth and young adults from low socio-economic and underserved communities.
Measurables for this program would include compiling and evaluating data to help determine the progress of the referrals and the overall program’s success.
Beneficiaries of this program would include the Shreveport Police Department, mental health and social services providers, the juvenile justice system, youth offenders, parents, families, and the public at- large.
The Shreveport Police Department has not been a previous recipient of JMHCP grant funds. The total amount of this request is $550,000.