Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gangs and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Project Safe Neighborhoods has operated as the U.S. Department of Justice’s primary initiative focused on the reduction of gun crime and gang-related violence since May of 2001.
Since its inception, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.
PSN is a nationwide, community-based effort that combines prevention and deterrence strategies with increased federal prosecution of serious offenders. When it was initiated, PSN focused on federal firearms offenders. PSN was expanded in 2006 to include violent street gangs. The current PSN strategy focuses on both the eradication of illegal firearms and the interdiction of violent gang activity.
There are five core components to the PSN strategy: strategic planning, partnerships, training, outreach and accountability. Initially, PSN was designed to increase partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through the formation of a local gun crime enforcement task force. Additional partnerships were established with local governments, social service providers, and community groups to increase resources for prevention efforts, as well as to increase the legitimacy of law enforcement interventions.
Gang Resistance Education And Training Program
The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, managed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with organizations including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues, serves as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. This law enforcement officer-instructed program, taught in schools, encourages positive relationships among the community, parents, schools, and law enforcement officers. The program moves from the classroom to community parks once summer vacation begins, offering students an opportunity to enhance their social skills, giving them alternatives to gang involvement, and adding structure to the summer months.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program can log on to www.great-online.org.