Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
From 2016 to 2020, Baton Rouge experienced 80,163 violent crimes, of which 32,683 were crimes among youth ages 10-24; and 47,480 among adults over 24. Zip code 70805 saw 8,427 violent crimes of 80,163 or 10% while zip code 70802 experienced 5,657 crimes or 7%. Baton Rouge is among America's top 40 most dangerous cities due to the crime rate per capita. A current Community Health Assessment published by the Mayor's Healthy City Initiative, a 2021 health ranking, listed the Baton Rouge violent crime rate as 583 compared to a 541 for Louisiana.
The City and community violence intervention partners will utilize this grant opportunity to build the framework for long-term sustainability and change. The community violence work has become a collaborative effort through community input and researcher evaluation. The City will partner this application with Vinformatix, a research partner for the BJCI grant, and apply through the NIJ solicitation. The City and partners have built the framework and programming to build capacity and sustain the CVI programs. The grant is the perfect solution to enhance and expand programming and organization capacity.
There have been technical assistance from Aqeela Sherrill and the Newark Community Street Team (NCST) through the Collective Healing Initiative and continued with the current White House CVI Initiative. CVI Partners recently went to Newark as part of the White House CVI to learn from NCST, employing credible messenger programs to address violence through a functional and preventive approach. The community team will liaise with prevention and intervention programs to provide boots-on-the-ground outreach.
The City is applying for 1A (pg. 10) and 1B (pg. 13) priorities to build equity, capacity, and programming in the City's African American CVI partners 100 Black Men, Baton Rouge Community Street Team BRCST, TRUCE and CHANGE – the City intends to sub-award over 70% of the funding to these entities to suffice priority funding requirements. The mayor's office created a Safe Hopeful Healthy Baton Rouge, which has created a strategy for interrupting violence, decreasing recidivism, and reducing gun violence. The BRCST is a neighborhood-centered project and framework for intervention and prevention strategies to reduce violence and crime. Through mentoring and case management modeling, community interventionists engage community members at risk of becoming either victims or perpetrators of violence.