NEW ORLEANS, LA- Today, The U.S. Department of Justice announced that New Orleans has been named a National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention city. The forum is a White House initiative focused on reducing youth violence and gang activity and improving public safety.
The Forum Expansion Project will offer $20,000 to the four new localities. When applying for this designation, the City of New Orleans committed to developing comprehensive youth violence prevention plans. The Forum will provide the City with technical assistance and support in strengthening local partnerships and improving access to data-driven practices. In addition, the Forum offers a community of practice, which connects participating cities and encourages the sharing of information about the success of local violence prevention models.
In keeping with Mayor Landrieu’s commitment to improve the quality of life for the citizens of New Orleans, by leveraging resources and increasing cross-collaboration amongst stakeholders, the New Orleans Health Department will take the lead on this program.
“We are extremely excited about being named a National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention city,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We are grateful to the Department of Justice for giving New Orleans this unique opportunity to partner with the federal government and other cities who are working to combat youth violence. We have been and will continue to be committed to changing our community, and improving people’s lives. The Department of Justice’s efforts through the forum program truly speaks to the work we are doing here. We have taken a multidisciplinary approach, partnering with state, local and federal stakeholders and this grant will allow us to continue to do this work effectively.”
“Children involved in violent crime have often been exposed to violence, either as victims or witnesses, and we must do everything in our power to end that cycle,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “The purpose of this forum is to bring together community and faith-based organizations, law enforcement, public health professionals as well as business and philanthropic leaders to work together toward a common goal: stopping youth and gang violence.”
“This grant will help us improve the city's programs in crime prevention, domestic violence, community violence and trauma,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo. “This will provide a roadmap for durable, long-term youth violence reduction that bridges disciplines and approaches and is guided by the community and youth themselves.”
Launched in 2010 at the direction of President Obama, the forum is a network of communities and federal agencies that share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence. The six original cities are Boston; Chicago; Detroit; Memphis, Tenn.; Salinas, Calif. and San Jose, Calif. The Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Labor; the Corporation for National and Community Service and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy are the forum's federal partners. The 10 cities will participate in a working session this fall and highlight their strategies to address youth violence at a national summit in Washington, D.C. next spring. The new cities were selected through a competitive application process.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
Participation in the National Forum on Youth Violence highlights the Landrieu’s administration’s commitment to violence reduction.
In May 2012, Mayor Landrieu released NOLA FOR LIFE: A Comprehensive Murder Reduction Strategy, containing new and ongoing initiatives to improve public safety in New Orleans.
Building on the work of the first two years, the NOLA FOR LIFE plan includes a strong focus on stopping the shootings and improving the NOPD. Recognizing, however, that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, the NOLA FOR LIFE plan takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem, and divides the plan into five main categories:
Stop the Shooting;
Invest in Prevention;
Promote Jobs and Opportunity;
Improve the NOPD; and
Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods.