Innovations in Community Based Crime Reduction

CBCR in Action

SITE OVERVIEW  ♦  BALTIMORE | MARYLAND  

Target Area: McElderry Park • Population: 7,800
Fiscal Agent: City of Baltimore
Research Partner: Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance – Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore
Crime Concerns: Juvenile delinquency, gun-related violence, homicides, and other violent crimes
CBCR Funding Year: 2012 Planning & Implementation

Neighborhood Profile

Located in East Baltimore, the McElderry Park neighborhood is a 48-square block area that has been the location for a disproportionate amount of crime for many years, especially violent and gun crimes.  The concentration of crime is accompanied by socioeconomic disadvantage, including high poverty and unemployment, and physical distress stemming from large numbers of abandoned and blighted properties. In the face of these challenges, the residents of McElderry Park and the City of Baltimore have begun to make inroads in recent years. Violent crime rates have fallen and development in areas around McElderry Park is on the rise.

Planning Process

Since the launch of CBCR planning in 2013, the McElderry Park Revitalization Coalition (MPRC) has served as the community-based steering committee for an inclusive process involving community members, law enforcement, faith-based institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations. The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute provided longitudinal analysis of crime incidents, data on the surrounding physical and socioeconomic context, and citizen calls for service using the 311 system. Together with information from resident focus groups, the CBCR team identified eighteen crime hot spots and worked with the community to develop a comprehensive list of evidence-informed strategies that could be pursued in response to crime drivers. In a community voting process, residents prioritized specific themes that they felt should be prominent in CBCR programming.

Residents have had a consistent voice in CBCR planning and implementation throughout the Baltimore project.

Implementation Strategies

Based on research findings and resident input, CBCR implementation strategies have included:

  • Workforce development programs including those that increase job opportunities for people who have been involved in the criminal justice system
  • Legal assistance related to employment, homeownership, expungement, family and financial matters
  • Youth and teen programs offering recreation, education and mentoring
  • Initiatives to promote greening and cleanliness, including job and service programs, city service advocacy, alley gating and other strategies

While pursuing these programs, project partners have been continuing to invest in community mobilization and partnership-building.

Notable events have included “McElderry Park Community Connections” in March 2015—a two day program focused around a specific crime hot spot in southeast McElderry Park, hosted by the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice in partnership with the McElderry Park Revitalization Coalition. City services fixed City assets, conducted inspections and created service requests for additional work needed in the area. Door knocking teams from #reconstruct #rebuild and the BCJI outreach team fanned out to reach the approximately 400 homes in the 10 block area. City human service agencies including CARE (senior services), Community Action Partnership, and Fire set up in a local church where they provided services to approximately 60 residents, many of whom were referred by the door knocking teams.

Other Key Partners

Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Baltimore Development Corporation, Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (University of Baltimore), Banner Neighborhoods, Charm City Clinic, Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity, Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, East Monument Main Street, Environmental Justice Partnership, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, Johns Hopkins University, Julie Community Center, Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (Baltimore City), McElderry Park Community Association, Monument Street Merchants Association, Safe Streets East, and Southeast Police District (Baltimore City)

 

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