In 2011, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida (USAO) established a USAO led Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) to address violent crime in the Miami-Dade County communities of Overtown, Liberty City/Little Haiti, and Miami Gardens. Following the establishment of the Miami-Dade County VRP, in October 2013, the USAO established a VRP in the city of Ft. Pierce in St. Lucie County to address serious gun and gang related violence plaguing that particular community. Most recently, the VRP expanded into Hollywood and West Palm Beach to target violent offenders in identified “hot spot” communities. Through these partnerships, the USAO and its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners have prosecuted and continue to target for prosecution the most violent offenders and their criminal networks operating in these “hot spot” communities. Simultaneously, and equally as important as the VRP’s enforcement efforts in these communities, the VRP has forged excellent working relationships with community leaders and non-profit organizations to mentor at-risk youth, provide jobs and job training to young families, and assist probationers and parolees to successfully re-enter society.
U.S. Attorney’s Office Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) is actively involved with a variety of initiatives designed to help prevent and combat crime. One such initiative is our Pre-K Reading Program. The VRP Reading Program engages professionals from government, law enforcement, and the private sector in reading sessions with early learners at child-care centers and elementary schools in high crime areas. The objective is to increase the children's appetite for reading before entering kindergarten, thus reducing early academic failure. Since its inception in 2013, the reading program has expanded to 24 schools throughout the Southern District of Florida; including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties. On a monthly basis, USAO personnel, along with volunteers from the Jones Day law firm, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), read and distribute books to over 1,200 children districtwide to encourage the youth to increase their reading proficiency; intensify their love of reading; supplement their vocabulary; and build a personal library. Following each reading session, every child is given a book to take home. Since 2014, the VRP has given the children over 11,000 books. In 2016, City Year Miami joined the partnership and their staff members now regularly read in area schools and provide book donations.
Additional information regarding the Pre-K Reading Program can be found at:
U.S. Attorney’s Interview with UM: http://news.miami.edu/stories/2015/12/reading-made-fun-damental.html
Channel 10’s coverage of reading program: http://www.local10.com/community/us-attorney-wifredo-ferrer-helps-students-learn-to-read
CBS Interview of U.S. Attorney Ferrer and City Year Miami Director: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/12/18/focus-on-south-florida-violence-reduction-partnership/
The VRP telephone number and email address are listed below.
VRP Telephone Number: (305) 961-9134
VRP Email Address: USAFLS.VRP@USDOJ.GOV