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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Aug. 22, 2012                   


More than $475,000 awarded to the City of Charleston to support DMI crime-fighting initiative

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs has awarded $475,698 in grant funding to the City of Charleston to support Charleston’s Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative.  The grant funding is being provided as part of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program. 

“Safety is unquestionably the single most important characteristic of any neighborhood or community.” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said, “This grant is more than an allocation of funding – it is an essential investment in the families who live on Charleston’s West Side and the people who do business there.” 

Goodwin said the sustaining efforts of the DMI initiative would not be possible without support from community leaders and countless concerned citizens. “Six months ago, my office partnered with the Charleston Police Department as well as other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to aggressively prosecute acts of crime and violence on the West Side.  Though the DMI initiative has already shown positive results by removing several of the area’s most violent criminals from the streets, our work is ongoing.”

Goodwin continued, “My office will continue to partner with state, city and local law enforcement to ensure safety in communities throughout the Southern District.”

Charleston area’s Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative was launched in February 2012 by Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster and U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, in collaboration with other federal, state, local law enforcement agencies and leaders representing several West Side community development organizations. The DMI initiative was initiated in Charleston as a strategic problem-solving effort aimed at closing down open-air drug markets that breed crimes of violence and disorder.

The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program was established to improve community safety by addressing crime within targeted neighborhoods, as well as provide critical support to community-based crime prevention strategies.

Research suggests that crime clustered in small areas, or "crime hot spots," accounts for a disproportionate amount of crime and disorder in various communities across the country. Additionally, the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program supports crime-fighting efforts in designated areas by strategically directing criminal justice resources to eliminate crime and violence.

The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program is part of the Department of Justice’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) that supports local and tribal communities in developing place-based strategies to change neighborhoods of distress into neighborhoods of opportunity.

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