Crime Prevention Proposal Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

How Community Policing Promotes Social Justice

Introduction

As Howell (2010) points out, youths “join gangs for protection, enjoyment, respect, money, or because a friend is in a gang” (p. 1). In the city of Cincinnati, gang activity among young people is on the rise, and City Council has expressed concerns over how to address this issue. The city of Mesa, Arizona, recently completed the Mesa Gang Intervention Program (MGIP), which focused on crime prevention among youths. This program primarily focused on the law enforcement aspect of the juvenile criminal justice system; however, it incorporated help from case workers, community leaders, probation officers, and youth workers. The program was a major success. As Mesa and Cincinnati are relatively similar in size, it is recommended that Cincinnati get serious about juvenile crime by implementing its own Gang Intervention Program modeled on MGIP. This paper will show why this program makes sense for Cincinnati and what the relevant literature reveals to support it. It will also propose a funding strategy, identify anticipated outcomes, and assess how crime prevention affects social justice within the local community.

Summary of the Jurisdiction

The city of Cincinnati has five districts and most of the gang-related activity occurs on the East side of the city. To reduce the amount of juvenile crime and to prevent gang-related crime in the city, the jurisdiction can focus its attention on law enforcement interventions that adopt a community-oriented approach to building bridges. The East side has few opportunities presently for juveniles in the way of enhancing education, having positive outlets for development and growth, and potential for upward movement. This lack of opportunity is a limitation that the city needs to address, and by addressing it through the strategy of crime prevention the city can effectively kill two birds with one stone.

Comparison to Other Similar Jurisdictions

Mesa, Arizona; Columbus, Ohio; and Louisville, Kentucky are similar jurisdictions. Cincinnati has a population of 350,000 people. Mesa has a population of 500,000. Columbus has a population of 800,000; and Louisville has a population of 600,000.

Using the SARA model and the Problem Analysis Triangle, one can see that the type of subject under discussion are ethnic or minority youths who join gangs during their adolescence and who end up involved in criminal activity, in juvenile delinquent centers, and later on in prisons as adults. The SARA model (Scan, Analyze, Respond, and Assess) shows that gang activity leads to violence in the community: murders, armed robberies, drug dealing, theft, vandalism, and rioting. Business owners, residents, and the homeless are all impacted. The aim of gang intervention programs like the one in Mesa is to address the youth gang problem at the individual and Project-area levels and reduce delinquency-related gang problems in the city (Spergel, Wa & Sosa, 2005). The problem is confirmed by the escalation of homicides, reported gang activity by minors, increases in vandalism, armed robbery, assaults, and thefts, and increases in drug trafficking. The same issues were apparent in Mesa prior to the intervention and are still apparent in Columbus and Louisville (Spergel et al., 2005). The rise in gang-related juvenile crime in Cincinnati has seen an ongoing trend since 2010, following the gentrification of the city’s Over-the-Rhine district, which saw minority populations pushed out of their neighborhoods into the East side. The East side has few recreational parks or services for youths and is much more impoverished in general than the rest of the city.

Analysis of the problem shows that the conditions that lead to increases in gang-related crime among juveniles consist of lack of social bond, lack of education, lack of home life stability, lack of alternatives, and lack of employment (Carson & Esbensen, 2019). The data required for analysis includes: police reports for Violence offenses, Drug selling offenses, Property offenses, Sex offenses, and Other offenses, and overall level of arrests for youths (Spergel et al., 2005). In the past numerous interventions have been performed. The Mesa intervention was one: it was a 5-year Program utilizing a case-management approach, involving a team of gang police, probation officers, case managers and outreach youth workers. The Mesa Police Department acted as lead agency and collaborated with the Maricopa Juvenile and Adult Probation Departments, the Mesa School District and United Way social agencies, and received strong support from the Mesa City Council (Spergel et al., 2005). The intervention aligned with the theory of social disorganization, which posits that “the cause of crime can be found in the environmental conditions within impoverished areas” (Listwan, 2013). Overall, the intervention was successful: Participating youth reduced their level of arrests 18% more than did the comparison youth, over a four-year program period compared to an equivalent four-year pre-program period; and the program area also experienced a…

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…groups because by increasing the number of effective interventions through better testing, use of multi-component interventions, and SNA, the whole of society can be transformed into a more equitable community. It will be more balanced and the marginalization of oppressed populations can be reduced. There will be fewer resources wasted on ineffective programs and more resources used for programs that are proven to work. The more that successful programs receive funding, the more benefit there is to the community as a whole. Interventions that are needed can be implemented and tax payer dollars are spent in a productive manner that reduces crime.

Funding Strategy

The funding strategy for this program would be to apply for federal grants, such as the grants available in Ohio for community benefit programs of up to $25,000 for a range of programs and services that meet the needs of local residents, such as environmental, health and human services, education, faith-based activities and other needs. The city council can also earmark funds for more community-based policing. The majority of the funding, however, will best come from tax relief for local businesses and organizations that want to assist the city police in providing alternatives and opportunities for East side youth to help them escape gang related activities: these include sports, use of gyms, basketball tournament hosting, trade and skill development, case worker assistance, and so on. Funding thus becomes grassroots and organically grows through tax relief incentives.

Conclusion: How Crime Prevention Affects Social Justice in the Community

In conclusion, crime prevention like the sort proposed herein would allow for social justice to flourish in the Cincinnati community. At present, social injustice has prevailed for the sake of private investors who have profited from rising property values in Over-the-Rhine. The population living there prior to revitalization has been moved to the East side, and the East side is now experiencing higher gang related crime numbers. There are too few opportunities for youths on the East side to find themselves, build confidence, learn skills and develop their potential. The city police can help pave the way to a brighter future through community policing, but they need help from community leaders, case workers, youth workers, churches, local businesses and schools to create alternatives for young people who might otherwise end up in a gang and then in juvenile delinquency and then in prison. The MGIP program has…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Aguiar, C. M., & Leavell, S. (2017). A statewide parenting alternative sentencing program: Description and preliminary outcomes. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 87(1), 78-93.

Carson, D. C., & Esbensen, F. A. (2019). Gangs in school: Exploring the experiences of gang-involved youth. Youth Violence & Juvenile Justice, 17(1), 3-23. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1541204017739678

Daly, K. (2016). What is restorative justice? Fresh answers to a vexed question. Victims & Offenders, 11(1), 9-29.

Howell, J. (2010). Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/231116.pdf

Listwan, S. J. (2013). Introduction to juvenile justice (2nd ed.). Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118513217

Petrosino, A., Petrosino, C. T., & Buehler, J. (2005). “Scared Straight” and other juvenile awareness programs for preventing juvenile delinquency. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 1(1), 1-62.

Spergel, I., Wa, K., & Sosa, R. (2005). Evaluation of the Mesa Gang Intervention Program (MGIP). School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago.


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