Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
This proposal focuses on underserved, rural communities experiencing high violence and the individuals in those rural areas most at risk for perpetrating or being victimized by violence. Robeson County NC (population 126,848) is a low income, rural county spanning 949 square miles in southeastern North Carolina; it is a Tier 1 county (highest poverty). Addressing OJP Priority 1A, Robeson is the most diverse county in NC (diversity index = 73.5% out of 100) and one of the most diverse in the U.S. Forty-two percent of residents are Lumbee Indians who have a poverty rate of 61%. For OJP Priority 2, Robeson County hotspots have homicide and violent/property crime rates that are 2 to 10 times higher than other areas in NC and the U.S.
Currently, the North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center is implementing a Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) in Lumberton, a small town (population 19,025) within Robeson County. Addressing OJP Priority 3, this CVIPI initiative is funded by a BJA Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Community-Based Crime Reduction grant (CBCR; 2019-BJ-BX-0018 from 10/1/2019 to 9/30/23) and has established partnerships. We propose to expand and enhance this initiative by bringing CVIPI services to the rest of Robeson County. We will focus on rural hotspots that are underserved, historically marginalized, and struggling with high crime and violence.
The Implementation Plan created by the Cross-Sector Partnership Planning Team includes community engagement activities, directed policing, gang prevention, street outreach, mediation and juvenile diversion initiatives for managing problems before they escalate, and therapeutic victim services for remediation of serious problems. This programming addresses salient crime drivers (i.e., family-based offenses, property crimes due to socioeconomic disadvantage, and lack of conflict resolution skills) and will ultimately reduce violent offenses, victimization, and property crimes. Evidence-based programs, such as Cure Violence street outreach, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for crime victims, and Community Resilience Training are included in the CVIPI package.