The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program model is based on the principle that sustainable reductions in serious and violent crime require collaboration among partners in the criminal justice system, service providers, and the communities they serve. These partnerships extend to community development corporations and private businesses that are linked to BCJI in local revitalization efforts.
The BCJI Program approach centers on four core elements:
- Place-based strategy: To target where crime is concentrated and enhance the impact of crime control efforts with locally driven neighborhood revitalization strategies
BCJI sites target a specific geographic area within a community with high levels of crime or types of crime in order to most effectively direct resources and to positively influence multiple social disorganization factors, such as concentration of high-risk residents, limited infrastructure, collective efficacy, and neighborhood physical conditions. Crime reduction efforts often include addressing physical conditions that increase the risk for crime, seeking to harden these targets through assessments and review of land use, code enforcement, and nuisance laws.
- Community Engagement: To increase community and resident engagement in shaping and sustaining crime prevention and revitalization efforts
In BCJI, residents and neighbors, alongside law enforcement and criminal justice system partners, are key to keeping communities safe. To catalyze and sustain change, there must be active involvement and leadership of neighborhood residents throughout the process. Understanding residents’ views of neighborhood change is critical. Engaging in community-oriented strategies should be driven by local data and needs, and should address critical issues comprehensively.
- Data and evidence driven: To improve the use of data and research to problem solve and guide program strategy
BCJI sites work with local law enforcement and community stakeholders (including local non-profit organizations) to conduct a broad examination of crime drivers in hot spots and then consider appropriate evidence-based and or innovative strategies to address them. Collaborative local partnerships, which often includes research partners, can help a community to assess program implementation and intended program impacts, as well as to assess gaps in services, strategies, and partners. Law enforcement agencies are required as the lead or a partner for strategies and support for crime hot spot and other data analysis to inform approach.
- Build Partnerships and Enhance Trust: To build capacity to promote sustainable collaborations that tackle problems from multiple angles
A strong set of partners and trust between them and community residents is critical for implementing comprehensive strategies in high crime neighborhoods. BCJI sites work to strengthen cross-sector partnerships and to build and enhance trust between partners, particularly between police departments and residents.