In July 2010, the City of Boston announced its new initiative to combat gang violence by working with the families and neighbors of the area’s most dangerous offenders. Partnerships Advancing Communities Together, also known as Boston PACT, arose out of the increase in random, senseless youth violence where more and younger innocent bystanders were being shot and killed in Boston. PACT has identified 200 to 300 of the city’s some 3,500 gang affiliates, and has distributed the list of high-risk individuals to law enforcement and social service agencies so that the groups can work together to support the individuals, their family members and neighborhoods. The hope is that, through social and financial support, the community along with city, state and federal officials can provide incentive to draw people out of gangs or keep them from joining in the first place.
The following serve as the foundation for PACT:
- Focusing on family strengthening as long term violence reduction strategy;
- City and State partnership;
- Convening of criminal justice and social service agencies to work together – with an enforcement component as well as a social services component;
- Data driven targeting of hotspot locations and major impact players within those hotspot locations; and
- Increasing coordination, communication, and prioritization of existing resources among all partner agencies.
The following agencies serve as key partners of PACT:
The chaotic and dysfunctional nature of the current gang culture, combined with a significant increase in the number of gangs and gang members.
Increase community safety in neighborhoods by developing a comprehensive strategy that improves collaboration and effectiveness among public safety agencies, city agencies, state agencies, social service agencies, and neighborhood institutions.
- Reduce violent crime in the neighborhoods;
- Partner and collaborate so that law enforcement, city agencies, state agencies, social service providers, and neighborhood institutions make effective use of existing resources, adapt systems to current needs, and foster the creation of innovative responses to the complex issues of youth violence;
- Create and implement a tailored, joint problem model;
- Demonstrated mutual accountability by partners for their participation in the creation and implementation of strategies and tasks; and
- Design, structure, and document our processes in a manner which fosters mutual learning, the creation of a model which produces measurable outcomes and enables replication of the initiative