WASHINGTON, D.C. – LAWFUEL- The Law News Network – The Department of…

WASHINGTON, D.C. – LAWFUEL- The Law News Network – The Department of Justice today announced awards of $1.7 million to local Boys and Girls Clubs in 100 communities and 17 Native American communities nationwide. Each community will receive up to $15,000 to develop and implement crime prevention programs among local youth, law enforcement and community agencies.

“These partnerships demonstrate the power of what local communities can do to prevent crimes in their neighborhoods,” said Cybele K. Daley, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “We know that community buy-in among stakeholders leads to success and helps maintain safe and healthy environments for families and youth to grow and succeed.”

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in October 2005 hosted the Law Enforcement and Youth Partnerships for Crime Prevention Conference. During the conference, executive leaders, senior law enforcement officials, crime prevention leaders, and representatives from several national service organizations gathered to explore ways to strengthen relationships between youth and law enforcement and create strategies or blueprints for improving crime prevention in their communities. These awards represent the start-up funding to begin implementation. A complete listing of the communities receiving awards can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

Examples of Boys and Girls Club-supported projects that received awards to initiate their crime prevention strategies follow. Community teams from Nashua, N.H. and Jackson, Miss. identified the need to provide youth with positive interaction opportunities with law enforcement during non-school hours and the need for more opportunities to better appreciate the value of science and math skills. These community teams will participate in the “Immersion Presents” after-school program, which partners law enforcement with the local Boys and Girls Club to teach youth science and math skills.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ strategy will address underage drinking, drug use, crimes against property, and domestic abuse by creating a diversion team that includes the Boys and Girls Club, a youth court counselor, law enforcement and social services. The team, through monthly meetings, will prepare and send five youth, one leader and one law enforcement official to Camp Brown in Scotland, Md. in August 2006. Camp Brown, owned and operated by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, allows youth to engage in structured workshops and skill building activities in a waterfront recreational setting.

The Office of Justice Programs is committed to maintaining the progress it has made toward crime prevention among our youth. According to OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, over the last decade, the rate of violent victimization among juveniles has decreased by more than 50 percent.

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and two offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education and the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP’s American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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