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It’s Time to Help More Communities Prevent Crime

In a blog for CitiesSpeak, Jason Cooper, a director for LISC’s safety initiatives, describes the urgent work of helping residents, non-profits and police work together to prevent crime—which is exactly what LISC supports in 74 areas across the country through the Justice Department’s Community-Based Crime Reduction Program. As the national training and technical assistance partner for the program, LISC has an up-close view of how it succeeds in making communities safer, stronger and more cohesive.

The excerpt below was originally posted on CitiesSpeak:
DOJ Offers Community-Based Crime Reduction Grants to Cities

Many cities beset by high rates of crime face economic and social problems that go well beyond the capacity of police to address. As such, stepped up enforcement, on its own, is rarely enough to drive long-term progress.

That challenge, however, opens the door to creative strategies that both focus on prevention andaddress threats to the overall quality of life.

That is why the Justice Department’s Innovations in Community-Based Crime Reduction Program(CBCR) has proven to be so powerful. With an April 30 deadline for the next round of funding, the program provides competitive grants to help cities target and prioritize crime hotspots.

This place-based model for crime reduction is unique because it promotes collaboration among nonprofits, business owners, government agencies, law enforcement, public health officials, researchers and residents—all working to create places where people want to live, work, play and learn. These cross-sector teams take a comprehensive approach to crime, taking on challenges related to housing, education and health as part of broader efforts to address violence, substance abuse and other public safety challenges, while also improving relationships with police.

My organization, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), has been the national training and technical assistance partner for CBCR since 2012, and we have seen first-hand how and why CBCR succeeds.  During that time, CBCR has made nearly $55 million in grants to support work in 74 urban, rural and tribal communities—places as diverse as New York, Atlanta, San Bernardino, California, and Meridian, Mississippi. Nearly half the coordinating agencies for the program are municipal or county government agencies.

The impact of this program is compelling. In fact, LISC researchers have cited crime drops as large as 41 percent in places where collaborative strategies like CBCR are at work.

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