2014 OJCP Award Recipients
Below are the Outstanding Criminal Justice Program award winners for 2014. Click below to view more information about:
- Northeast Region Pennsylvania Resource Center Initiative: A Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Center of Excellence
- Southern Region: Johnson City Targeted Community Crime Reduction Project
- Midwestern Region: Secure Cities Program
- Western Region: Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE)
- Tribal Region: Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program
Northeast Region Pennsylvania Resource Center Initiative
A Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Center of Excellence
The Pennsylvania Resource Center aims to prevent youth violence, delinquency, and substance abuse through dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs and improvement of local juvenile justice programs. Created by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the Resource Center was created to implement research into the real world. Through the Center, communities receive free, high-quality technical assistant and training for 11 proven-effective evidence-based programs. The Resource Center provides training and technical assistance for community prevention coalitions, dissemination and implementation of the 11 programs, and research-informed improvement of juvenile justice programs. Their website provides various resources for download, a free technical assistance center that provides a valid and reliable source for standardized data on juvenile justice.
The Resource Center is funded by annual state appropriations in a dedicated Violence Prevention line item in the governor’s budget, as well as by shared funds from the PCCD and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. It was created in July 2008 and two evaluation studies have shown the juvenile justice programs disseminated and implemented by the Resource Center are cost effective and have positive outcomes.
The dissemination of evidence-based delinquency prevention programs has reached 50 counties across Pennsylvania since 2008. The Center has also negotiated agreements with different program developers to keep these programs in-state, from training to dissemination to implementation. This has reduced the public dollars spent on trainer travel to the state or trainee travel outside the state. It has also decreased the time between training and implementation, increased the likelihood of further adoption of successful programs, and contributed to the sustainability of the programs in Pennsylvania. Overall, the Center has shown the impact of PCCD’s delinquency and violence prevention initiative and has shown a positive impact on youth and family outcomes in local communities across Pennsylvania.
Johnson City Targeted Community Crime Reduction Project
The Johnson City Targeted Community Crime Reduction Project is a program that seeks to prevent crime, rebuild neighborhoods, improve law enforcement, and provide offender intervention for probationers and parolees in the city of Johnson City, Tenn. The program first implements prevention strategies to reduce the number of at-risk youths; reduce juvenile delinquency; reduce rates of juvenile behavior incidents both in and out of school; improve perceptions of safety and neighborhood pride and improve self-protection behavior and perceptions of improving conditions in neighborhoods. The program does this through Positive Action and Police and Teens Reaching Opportunities for Life (PATROL) programs that offer educational and support systems for juveniles and neighborhood and business watch initiatives that encourage residents to identify and report suspicious activity. Neighborhood revitalization requires redeveloping properties and bringing new residents to declining properties and contributing to neighborhood pride and safety. The program also implements Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, ride-alongs, crime mapping software, and a TCCRP officer to improve safety and create trust between law enforcement and the community. Finally, the program creates gender-specific Day Reporting Centers that build coping skills, sobriety, education, and job opportunities, as well as reduce recidivism for probationers and parolees.
The Johnson City TCCRP was initially funded in April 2013 by a State Formula Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), and is currently funded by the same State JAG, as well as a TCCRP Grant by the Office of Criminal Justice Programs. The Program also receives help from donations given by partners and community sponsors.
Since beginning, the TCCRP has implemented 19 initiatives that have helped to achieve the goals of the program. Juvenile absences from school have dropped 15.8 percent, and juvenile disciplinary actions have been reduced from 2.0 incidents per child 1.6 incidents per child. In areas of high crime, it was noted that lighting was poor, and actions are underway to repair or replace broken street lights to decrease crime. In those areas, a greater police presence has resulted in a 26 percent decrease in the number of neighborhood incidents and a 19 percent decrease in arrests. Across the board, the number of incidents and arrests in Johnson City after the start of the TCCRP has decreased, and business owners and residents have reported that they feel safer and quality of life has improved.
Secure Cities Program
The Secure Cities Program (SCP) was a response to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) March 2012 Special Message to the Michigan State Legislature on public safety. The governor called for an attack on crime through “smart justice” that uses real-time crime data and evidence-based policing tactics to identify and target criminal hot spots. The SCP seeks to reduce crime and increase the quality of life in Michigan cities that have been heavily impacted by violent crime. Partnered with the Michigan State Police (MSP), the SCP provides enhanced law enforcement to the cities of Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw. The SCP covers these four separate jurisdictions, which allows for flexibility to meet the needs of each jurisdiction, which then allows other jurisdictions to replicate successful measures. Additional troopers are added to areas for six-week assignments, and a MSP Community Service Trooper (CST) is assigned to each area to engage the community and partner with local law enforcement officials through outreach and targeted crime prevention strategies.
The program was initially funded in March 2012 by general funds from the state of Michigan and continues to be funded by state general funds. These funds are supplemented by several grants: the Competitive Grant Assistance Program at the state level, and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grant Program at the federal level.
Along with the MSP, SCP works with local community service projects and programs in each jurisdiction, including Saginaw’s “Light Up the City” Program that seeks to build trust between residents and law enforcement; Flint and Pontiac’s Teaching, Educating, And Mentoring (T.E.A.M.) program, winner of the 2010 NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award, and the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program, as well as Detroit’s Cease Fire program, in addition to Detroit T.E.A.M. and GREAT.
From 2012 to 2013, Flint saw a 31.9 percent decrease in crime, Saginaw saw an 18.9 percent decrease, Pontiac saw a 6.3 percent decrease, and Detroit saw a 2.6 percent decrease after the implementation of the SCP.
Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE)
Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) aims to reduce the number of probation violations and reduce recidivism of high-risk probationers. The intensive supervision program begins with a Warning Hearing after an offender has been recommended by his or her probation officer and is accepted by a judge. The Warning Hearing notifies offenders at the onset that probationers will have random and frequent drug tests, and probation violations will have swift but appropriate consequences. If an offender fails a drug test, he or she is arrested on the spot. If he or she misses a drug test or probation appointment, a judge issues an immediate bench warrant. Every weekday, each probationer must call in to a Drug Testing Hotline, which reads out randomly selected colors. Each probationer is assigned a color, and if his or her color is called, he or she must report downtown to the Honolulu Courthouse for drug testing that day. As the probationer progresses through the program, testing becomes less frequent.
HOPE began in 2004 with zero funding earmarked for the program. In 2006 it was awarded a grant from the Hawaii State Legislature. The grant has run out; the program is now completely funded by state taxpayer dollars appropriated by the state legislature. With the support of the Honolulu Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, the Hawaii State Legislature, and various substance abuse treatment programs, the HOPE program has been deemed a success.
A 2008 study by Pepperdine Associate Professor Angela Hawken found that after one year, probationers were 55 percent less likely to be arrested for a new crime, 72 percent less likely to use drugs, 61 percent less likely to skip appointments with their supervisory officer, and 53 percent less likely to have their probation revoked. It was also found that probationers in the program served or were sentenced to, on average, 48 percent fewer days of incarceration compared to the control group that were on regular probation. Due to the success of the Hawaii program, models have been replicated in 160 locations in 18 states, which all show good results.
Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program
The Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program assists Muscogee citizens in the transition from prison back into society. The program uses current, proven-effective initiatives while embracing traditional Native American values, making it a unique program for re-entry into society. The program helps offenders to meet obligations upon release, provides a structured environment that addresses many of the needs of one re-entering society, and provides solutions for typical barriers that hinder or block successful transitions into society. The program seeks to reduce or eliminate recidivism rates through such measures as providing attorney services, housing, educational and vocational training, employment opportunities, transportation, medical services, and family and youth services. By giving those returning to society these opportunities, the Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program seeks to create a safer community and an alternative to incarceration.
The Reintegration Program began in August 2004 and was initially funded by Tribal Resolution NCA-04-155, using funds from the Bingo Revenue Fund Account. Currently, the program is funded by revenues from the Muscogee Creek Nation Gaming Enterprises, and limited federal grants. Services provided to the clients are free if provided by Tribal service providers, and often given at a discounted rate by other area service providers.
Upon implementing the program, it began to have an impact on the Muscogee citizens. The Reintegration Program has offered services to over 500 clients and has successfully re-integrated approximately 90 percent of the offenders who have gone through the program. Because of this, the Reintegration Program has been recognized by tribal, state, and federal leaders as a model for reintegration.