Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,999,567)
Over the past 10 years, the City of Hartford has averaged a homicide rate of about 19.5 per 100,000 population—nearly four times the national average and more than six times greater than the statewide homicide rate. Like many cities, Hartford has experienced increasing rates of community gun violence since 2020. The City is in need of additional support to expand its CVI approach and fund additional multi-disciplinary, data-informed violence intervention strategies focused on those at the very highest risk for immediate involvement in gun violence. Hartford’s CVI expansion program seeks to apply outreach, services, and intensive case management to these communities in greatest need. Acknowledging that the police also play a critical role in community-based violence reduction, the City’s strategy also seeks to apply police resources in ways that are evidence-based and hyper-focused on the small population of offenders continuing to engage in violence. Finally, the City of Hartford will implement innovative community-building programs to strengthen engagement, social cohesion, and resource accessibility within neighborhoods most deeply affected by gun violence.
The City’s community-based violence intervention initiative will take an approach that emphasizes community mobilization and the engagement of residents to help guide and participate in violence reduction efforts. This application seeks funding to enhance the City’s CVI approach and achieve five key objectives: (1) Implement a data-informed activity and coordination framework, (2) Strengthen outreach, service delivery, and case management for victims and those at the very-highest risk for involvement in gun violence, (3) Bolster community-building programs and enhance feedback loops between City partners and residents, (4) Develop solutions to increase feelings of safety and security in high-violence neighborhoods, and (5) Improve criminal justice lever-pulling for those who perpetrate gun violence.
If our program is successful and fulfills our objectives, we expect to see: a) reductions in community gun violence, b) increasing participation in community mobilization efforts (e.g., neighborhood Slack channels, Ring camera community program, and community events driven by the Office of Community Engagement and CBOs) throughout the grant period, c) alignment between gun violence risk factors—as determined through the City’s Gun Violence Problem Analysis—and clients engaged in Project Longevity and intensive case management, d) lower levels of recidivism among intensive case management clients, and e) increased solve rates and offender accountability for nonfatal shootings and shots fired incidents.