Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
The Center for Children & Youth Justice (CCYJ), Leadership, Intervention, & Change - LINC program brings together a community-wide, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-disciplinary coordinated effort to reduce youth gun violence and involvement of young people in gangs in King County, Washington. The project will work with up to 200 young people annually who are involved with, or at risk of involvement with, gangs and/or violence.
LINC implements with fidelity the evidence-based Comprehensive Gang Model (CGM).
The LINC Steering Committee brings together key decision makers from youth-serving agencies, local and state government, school districts, law enforcement, superior court, faith-based leaders, and community and grassroots groups. The Steering Committee shapes the Community Assessment and develops an actionable Community-Specific Violence Reduction Strategic Plan to support ongoing evaluation of LINC’s progress in reducing youth gang involvement.
Service provision to youth is coordinated through street outreach and three geographically focused Multi-Disciplinary Intervention Teams (MDITs), which include street outreach workers, case managers, school representatives, probation counselors, behavioral health specialists, law enforcement officers, and employment providers. Street outreach reaches youth in the community where they are at, both physically and emotionally/developmentally. LINC outreach workers are credible messengers, with lived experience, almost all Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC). They are able to engage and mentor youth, and use trauma-informed approaches to help youth set goals and change their lives. The MDITs use a team-based case management approach, reviewing each youth’s plan and progress to determine what wraparound services can help them meet the goals they have identified for themselves.
Most of LINC’s programmatic work is focused in the South King County and Seattle communities that have historically accounted for more than 90% of firearm violence in the county. LINC’s system change work through the Steering Committee is countywide in Washington’s most populous and diverse county.
Outcomes anticipated for youth depending on their individual goal areas include: 50% reduction in gang activity/association; 25% improvement in academic performance; 30% enrollment in school; 45% improvement in school attendance; 60% obtaining employment; and 50% attending work regularly.
CCYJ is seeking priority consideration under Priority 1A (see pp 10-11 of narrative); and under Priority 1B (see pp 13-14): through a sub-award with Freedom Project, a culturally specific, grassroots organization directed by and serving BIPOC communities impacted by mass incarceration, receiving $600,000 (30% of requested award funding) over the grant period.