Mona Mangat has been a core member of LISC’s community safety team for more than a decade and was recently named National Director for Safety and Justice. She now leads our work to support community-law enforcement partnerships in neighborhoods across the country and spearheads LISC’s increased focus on “pre-entry” and “re-entry” programming: that is, strategies to help prevent vulnerable residents from getting caught up in the justice system in the first place, and to support formerly incarcerated people as they rejoin their communities and the workforce.
In just two years, the RVA League for Safer Streets, a basketball-plus-education program for young men from Richmond communities with high crime rates, has had an extraordinary peace-making impact in the lives of participants—and on the city at large. Founded by two formerly incarcerated Richmonders who bring to the table experience and insight wrought by decades behind bars, the League is dedicated to keeping people out of prison, and helping those who are returning to become successful members of their communities. The article that follows contains audio quotes from the League's founders about pivotal experiences in their lives in and outside of prison.
As we kick off 2019, LISC is continuing to grow its investments in economic opportunity and its on-the-ground presence in communities across the country. We unveiled a new program office in Charlotte this week that will spearhead $25 million in investments over the next few years—all designed to boost affordable housing, improve economic mobility and raise standards of living in North Carolina’s largest city. Long-time community leader Ralphine Caldwell has been named executive director to lead the effort.
A recent flurry of media coverage has shone a spotlight on the decline in opioid overdose deaths in Dayton, Ohio, a city that has been at the epicenter of the crisis. In an article for Next City, Mona Mangat, national director of LISC's Safety & Justice programs, and Matthew Perkins, a senior program officer and criminologist, parse the crucial ways a DOJ grant and technical assistance from LISC helped the community of East Dayton tackle opioid-driven crime and disorder—a local approach hundreds of communities can learn from.
As we close out 2018, we are pleased to feature Captain Dean Isabella of the Providence Police Department in conversation with Maurice. Isabella is a longtime partner of LISC’s Safety & Justice program and a tireless advocate for a community-oriented approach to policing. He shares his insight into the benefits of police-resident partnerships and the imperative of a holistic strategy for crime reduction and nurturing safe neighborhoods. More information on LISC’s Safety & Justice work in Providence and beyond can be found here.