Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), a Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative initially launched to reduce gun crime nationwide, kicked off in the District of Massachusetts in 2001 - the same year the program was initiated nationally. In 2006, DOJ expanded the initiative to include an anti-gang component and provided Districts with resources to combat gang crimes within the framework of PSN.
Each U.S. Attorney’s Office across the United States has been directed annually to formulate a anti-gun and anti-gang strategy implementing the five key PSN elements: partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach and accountability. In the District of Massachusetts, we have established an extensive network of law enforcement and community partners who have been fundamentally important to the success of our strategy. Since the program’s inception, nearly $7 million in federal grant funds have been allocated to our District’s anti-gun and anti-gang efforts.
In this district, PSN projects have included:
- Developing and sustaining community/law enforcement partnerships in targeted communities across the state by maximizing federal resources;
- Collaborating with state and local law enforcement and prosecution on gun and gang investigations and arrest sweeps;
- Providing training for nearly 4,000 law enforcement personnel and community members in areas such as innovative community programs and partnerships, technology updates, empowering neighborhoods for gang prevention, and officer safety training;
- Undertaking community outreach projects including anti-violence hip-hop songwriting competition, gang prevention summits and workshops in partnership with other programs; and
- Formulating tools to measure the performance of projects funded with PSN and other federal grant funds.
The U.S. Attorney’s PSN program in Massachusetts is also involved in the adult prisoner reentry programs at several county correctional facilities, as well as juvenile reentry. Distribution of grant funds to target cities across the state has enabled communities and organizations to implement programming focused on after-school activities, education, employment, law enforcement/community collaboration, and public service outreach projects, among others.
The fiscal agent for the PSN program is the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.