Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.
In an effort to reduce violent crime, the Department of Justice has taken steps to strengthen the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program and other initiatives. Read the press release and see the corresponding memo to United States Attorneys to learn more.
In May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN so that it is built on newly articulated core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results of our efforts. And the Department expressly underscores that the fundamental goal of this work is to reduce violent crime in the places we call home, not to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.
- PSN: Working Together to Stop Violent Crime and Make Communities Safer- This video provides a short (7 minute) summary of the PSN strategy, highlighting how it is community-based, targeted, and comprehensive.
- PSN One-Year Progress Report (March 2019) – This report highlights elements of the PSN strategy, the status of implementation across the country, recent successes, and resources to support PSN programs.
Project Safe Neighborhoods in Rhode Island
Partnerships and Strategic Planning
Project Safe Neighborhoods partners, under the leadership of the United States Attorney's Office, engage in meetings regularly to identify areas of violent crimes, crime patterns, at-risk offenders, and to offer intervention and prevention strategies and resources, to mitigate violent crimes. Additionally, prosecutors meet regularly with our law enforcement partners to review gun cases for prosecution and to discuss and implement targeted strategies. Since 2001 when PSN was announced, federal gun prosecutions in Rhode Island have more than doubled and gun offenders have been sentenced to well over 1,000 years in federal prison.
PSN law enforcement partners include local, federal, and urban corridor law enforcement agencies to include the Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Pawtucket, Central Falls and Woonsocket Police Departments; Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island State Police/FBI Fusion Center; Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General; federal agents from the FBI, DEA, and ATF; the U.S. Marshals Service; and the U.S. Postal Inspetion Service.
PSN community partners include the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence, Rhode Island Training School, Family Community Partners, Local Initiative Support Corporation, Housing, Tides Family Services; Health Equity Zones, Youth Services, Substance Use Prevention Coalitions, Rhode Island Department of Corrections Discharge and Reentry units, faith based communitie, and several local colleges and universities.
Federal PSN grants, an import source of funding, help to fund federal and state prosecutors, ATF investigators, training programs, assist the Cities of Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Cranston, and Warwick, and the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence Streetworkers - a network of violence intervention workers who work within neighborhoods to counsel the City's youth.
The foundations of the Rhode Island PSN strategy include:
- Community-Based –Local programs contoured to fit the specific violent crime problem in that district.
- Targeted – Law enforcement and community intelligence, along with cutting-edge technology, to identify and target the most violent offenders for enforcement action.
- Comprehensive –The United States Attorney's Office lead combined enforcement efforts, with support of prevention and reentry strategies, to combat violent crime in a lasting way.
On a regular basis, federal prosecutors provide PSN training to the local law enforcement community. The United States Attorney's Office provides training in weapons violations, preparing search warrants for federal prosecutors, processing evidence, and officer safety and survival techniques. To schedule a PSN training session, please contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine D. Lowell at 401.709.5086 or at Christine.Lowell@usdoj.gov.
In addition, the United States Attorney and prosecutors routinely visit schools and various community centers and organizations engaging students and citizens in discussions about PSN and gangs. Our assisatnt united states attorneys attend monthly meetings of recently incarcerated individuals now on state probation and visit the state prison to discuss PSN and to give cautionary advice on federal laws and federal prosecutions.
Consistent and vigilant review of gun violence reduction efforts is necessary for a successful and proactive reduction strategy. Our PSN message "No Friends. No Family. No Freedom. Gun Crime Means Hard Time" is reaching the streets. It's not unusual for a police office engaging with a criminal who asks, "Am I going Federal?"
To learn more about the Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods Program and related grants and training please visit www.projectsafeneighborhoods.gov.