WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the City of Baltimore has been awarded a $938,773 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to reduce juvenile and violent crime in McElderry Park. The award will be administered through the DoJ’s new Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Initiative, which awards highly-competitive grants targeted at high-crime neighborhoods that most need help.
“It takes a coordinated effort to transform an unsafe neighborhood into a safe one and this BCJI grant will provide needed resources to Baltimore City to help make McElderry Park a safe neighborhood that engages juveniles and residents in constructive community activities,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Budget Committee.
As Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the DoJ, Senator Mikulski fought to put funds in the federal checkbook for the BCJI.
“These new Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grants will help continue our work protecting Baltimore City’s neighborhoods and families – that means safer streets and safer communities,” Senator Mikulski said. “This funding is a step forward in a coordinated effort to transform McElderry Park into a thriving neighborhood. It will give local leaders new tools for preventing lost youth and lost opportunity. I will continue to fight for communities and the tools they need to clean up the streets, protect our families, and fight crime that destroys communities and lives.”
The goal of the BCJI Initiative is to improve community safety by designing and implementing comprehensive approaches to reducing crime within a neighborhood as part of a broader strategy to revitalize neighborhoods through community-based partnerships.
In Baltimore’s McElderry Park Neighborhood, the BCJI grant will be used to reduce juvenile crime, reduce violent crime and establish community activities to engage young people’s time and energy in constructive ways.
The BCJI program helps local leaders target crime in the locations where the most crime is occurring. Research shows that crime clustered in small areas, or “crime hot spots,” is responsible for generating an out-sized share of crime and disorder in many communities. Providing tools and evidence-based data about crime trends helps local communities most-effectively target limited crime-fighting resources.
This new program is part of the larger Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) that helps develop local strategies to transform distressed neighborhoods. Efforts to reduce and prevent crime through BCJI will be coordinated with broader revitalization efforts for a more comprehensive approach.