Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $208,323)
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide commitment to reducing gun crime, links existing local programs together and provides them with necessary tools. PSN 1) takes a hard line against gun criminals, using every available means to create safer neighborhoods; 2) seeks to achieve heightened coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement; and 3) emphasizes tactical intelligence gathering, more aggressive prosecutions, and enhanced accountability through performance measures. The United States Attorney in each federal judicial district will lead the offensive. The fiscal agent, in coordination with the PSN Task Force, will allocate funds throughout the community.
The University of Illinois, serving as the fiscal agent for the Northern District of Illinois, will use the grant to continue support for the Chicago Police Department gun teams, gun prosecution assistance in the Office of the Cook County State's Attorney, and parolee forums. The gun teams identify and prioritize violent groups and determine hot spot locations in targeted districts in coordination with the PSN task force. The task force also helps coordinate information sharing among the project partners on major investigations, juvenile intervention, media outreach, and community relations efforts aimed at addressing the recidivism rate of felons with prior convictions relating to firearms, violent crimes, or drug offenses. The State's Attorney's Office works with the U.S. Attorney's Office to determine which subjects are likely to receive stiffer sentences under federal authority and transfers these cases for federal prosecution. Parolee forums are the cornerstone of PSN efforts to reduce recidivism and promote opportunities to individuals recently released from prison. Representatives from local, state, and federal law enforcement present a unified front in warning parolees of the consequences of their actions should they decide to re-offend. The forums also involve presentations from social service providers.