Assistant U. S. Attorney Cindy Cipriani (619) 546-9608
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – November 3, 2020
SAN DIEGO – U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer today announced that Social Advocates for Youth, San Diego Inc. (“SAY”) has received a $488,495 Department of Justice grant to fight and prevent violent crime in the Southern District of California. The grant, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, is part of more than $458 million in funding to support state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime in jurisdictions across the United States.
“One of the fundamental missions of government is to protect its citizens and safeguard the rule of law,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The Department of Justice will continue to meet this critical responsibility by doing everything within its power to help our state, local and tribal law enforcement and criminal justice partners fight crime and deliver justice on behalf of all Americans.”
“This grant to SAY will support comprehensive intervention strategies (including mentoring, restorative circles and emotional literacy education), that both dissuade youth from joining gangs and help them escape if they are already entrenched in the lifestyle,” said U.S. Attorney Brewer. “It is programs like this that can pull kids from the clutches of gangs and put them on a path to a better life.”
With this money, Social Advocates for Youth will implement project REJUVENATE, a comprehensive intervention program to reduce violence and gang involvement among youth living in opportunity zones in San Diego. This program will employ prevention and intervention strategies that address individual, family, and community factors that contribute to gang activities. In partnership with Project Aware and Union of Pan Asian Communities, SAY will serve 192 high-risk youth and reach 3,000 youth ages 12–17. The program will seek to reduce gang involvement by 80 percent for participants by providing work experience, life skills, and counseling. SAY will increase rates of participants in alcohol and drug education, intervention and referral for treatment, and increase community connectedness. Activities include employment training, restorative talk circles, counseling, and the development of a youth-led task force.
The funding announced today continues the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing crime and improving public safety. In the two years before President Trump took office, America had experienced a precipitous rise in crime, particularly in serious violent crime. The President elevated community safety to the top of his domestic agenda and crime rates have fallen steadily since. Recent data from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2019 show a drop in crime and serious victimization for the third year in a row. However, a number of cities are experiencing conspicuous countertrends. Today’s grants will bolster crime-fighting efforts in those communities and in jurisdictions throughout the United States.
“Violence has become a tragic reality in too many of America’s communities,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “Working with officials across the Trump Administration and with thousands of state, local and tribal crime-fighters across the country, the Department of Justice is leading the response to this urgent challenge. OJP is pleased to make these resources available to support innovative, tested and diverse solutions to violent crime.”
Of the more than $458 million awarded nationwide, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance made 1,094 grants totaling more than $369 million to support a broad range of initiatives, including efforts in enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention and rehabilitation.
OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded more than $10 million across 24 jurisdictions to intervene in and suppress youth gang activity as well as $1 million to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research to continue operating the National Gang Center. OJP’s National Institute of Justice awarded $7.8 million to fund research and evaluation on the prevention and reduction of violent crime. OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics provided more than $69 million to strengthen the quality and accessibility of records within the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.