Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,633,510)
The purpose of the Clark County Violence Prevention Project is to develop a coordinated, cohesive, effective, and sustainable approach to preventing and reducing gun violence in Clark County, Ohio. Clark County’s Violence Prevention Group is a group of leaders and stakeholders that have been working together to address the issue of youth gun violence in its community. This group currently includes representatives from the Justice System, public safety, city government, the county health department, mental health board, Children and Family Counsel, educational institutions (e.g., Springfield City School District), community based organizations, and a community foundation. This group will expand as a multidisciplinary group to serve as the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) team. Community advocates, victim service organizations, and treatment centers, among other community stakeholders, will be added to the CVIPI Team. The CVIPI team will also engage research experts from Case Western Reserve University, who will conduct a community assessment to provide the CVIPI team with a deeper understanding of Clark County’s gun violence issue and how it impacts the community. As a member of the CVIPI team, Case Western will also provide knowledge and expertise on data-driven strategies in reducing community gun violence as the team develops the Clark County Community Violence Reduction Strategic Plan. This plan will detail the gun violence reduction strategies that will be implemented in the community. The Violence Prevention Project will apply the public health model approach to the gun violence issue, implementing multilayered, evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies, as well as the use of trauma-informed practices. The project will focus efforts on youth aged 14–24 with the highest risk of being a perpetrator or victim of gun violence. The project will work with the local justice system to identify the highest risk youth using Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS) for minor youth and the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) for youth aged 18–25. The project will also work with the local school districts to deploy intensive prevention strategies in schools with concentrations of high-risk youth. Case Western Reserve University will evaluate the effectiveness of the project, its strategies, and the programs implemented throughout and at the conclusion of the grant period.