Philadelphia, September 29, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the City of Philadelphia has won three competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) as part of the City’s on-going efforts to reduce youth violence and provide productive pathways to adulthood.
The grants are the following:
- $600,000 for the School Justice Collaboration Program: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Courts for the School Diversion Program;
- $227,430 from the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) Collaboration on the Youth Opportunity Corps for expansion of PowerCorpsPHL;
- And $100,000 for the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum) for expansion of Philadelphia’s Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative.
“I am proud of the partnership that Philadelphia has developed with the U.S. Department of Justice and for the national reputation we have built as one of the country’s leaders in the prevention and reduction of youth violence,” Mayor Nutter said. “These awards will further our work in keeping our kids safe in school and out of court and jails and will provide work for at-risk youth to keep them on the right path. They directly align with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper [MBK] initiative that focuses on young men of color, and I want to thank the staff at the Mayor’s Office of Grants whose persistent work and coordination among many city agencies made possible our success in winning this funding.”
The three awards seek to improve school safety, stem the “school-to-prison” pipeline and improve the educational and employment outcomes for young people, especially young men of color. Mayor Nutter is co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s MBK Taskforce, which is focused on reducing racial disparity in the arrests and school discipline for young men of color and improves their chances for success in school.
“These programs are about improving our support for at-risk youth and creating opportunities for them to succeed,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee. “Our goals are to help young men improve their work skills and support their educational aspirations.”
The School Justice Collaboration Program: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Courts – $600,000 to the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania for the School Diversion Program:
In response to the nation’s growing “school-to-prison” pipeline and to address excessive school disciplinary practices and disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system, Philadelphia developed the innovative School Diversion Program.
First implemented in May, the School Diversion Program serves students who have committed first time low-level delinquent acts on or about school premises by diverting them from arrest and into Intensive Prevention Services for them and their families. During the 2013-2014 school year 1,555 children, aged 10 and over, were arrested on the premises of the School District of Philadelphia. The School Diversion Program aims to deliver a 50% reduction in the number of arrests of children and elimination of the racial disparity in these arrests and related school based disciplinary actions at the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Program partners include the Philadelphia Police Department, the School District of Philadelphia, the City Department of Human Services, Good Shepherd Mediation Program and Drexel University as evaluation partner.
Through the School Justice Collaboration Program, the DOJ partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to address declining school climates and improve early detection of mental and behavioral health issues in youth. The City was only eligible to receive the School Justice Collaboration grant if the School District of Philadelphia received a School Climate Transformation grant. Last Friday, the School District learned that it had been awarded the five-year $3.5 million School Climate Transformation grant.
The Youth Opportunity Corps – $227,430 to PowerCorpPHL for program expansion:
PowerCorpsPHL is an innovative AmeriCorps program designed to address the Mayor’s sustainability initiatives as well as the City’s youth workforce development and violence prevention priorities. Partnering with EducationWorks and the Philadelphia Youth Network, PowerCorpsPHL annually enrolls 100 individuals, ages 18-26, in a 9-month program: 6 months of full-time service as AmeriCorps members with City departments followed by 3 months of intensive job placement support. This award will enable the program to serve annually 136 youth who will work in the City Parks and Recreation Department and the Philadelphia Water Department.
National Forum on Youth Violent Prevention (Forum) – $100,000 to the Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative (YVPC) for program expansion:
Philadelphia’s Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative (YVPC) was created in late 2012 when OJJDP selected Philadelphia as one of 10 cities participating in the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. The Collaborative’s mission, as detailed in its Youth Violence Prevention Strategy, is to prevent youth violence in North Philadelphia’s 22nd Police District by creating a safe environment that supports the development of healthy, thriving, productive citizens through a citywide multi-disciplinary approach to youth violence, aligning prevention, intervention, enforcement, reentry, and data & evaluation efforts.
About the Youth Opportunity Corps: OJJDP joined with CNCS to launch Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps. The program will enroll at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth in national service projects sponsored by the AmeriCorps program.
About the National Forum on Youth Violent Prevention (Forum): The Forum is a network of communities and federal agencies that work together, share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence. Established at the direction of President Obama in 2010, the Forum brings together people from diverse professions and perspectives to learn from each other about the crisis of youth and gang violence in the U.S. and to build comprehensive solutions on the local and national levels.