BostonLISC.org

Community Safety Initiative

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Operating Years:
2002 - present
 
Partners:
Jamaica Plain NDC, Dorchester Bay EDC, Nuestra Comunidad

Strategy:
Building Community Capacity, Catalyzing Comprehensive Development

Status:
In Progress
 
Summary:
LISC partners with local CDCs to improve community safety.

Website:
Overview
LISC Safety is a National LISC program that supports building long-term partnerships between police departments, community developers, local business owners, and residents in troubled neighborhoods to reduce crime and improve quality of life. As a part of a larger strategy for comprehensive community development, LISC Safety emphasizes the fact that crime and safety issues undermine efforts to create healthy, sustainable communities. By targeting law enforcement and community development resources in the same places through local LISC offices, LISC Safety gives residents and police the ability to transform their neighborhoods into stronger, healthier places to live and do business.
 
Structure
Though LISC Safety is a national program, LISC Boston recognizes the need for an adapted approach to LISC Safety that addresses the particular needs of Greater Boston communities. To this end, LISC Boston has partnered with three local community development corporations to address different community safety issues. 
 
Nuestra CDC - Foreclosures
LISC Boston recognizes that crime in and around foreclosed and vacant properties is a significant problem in some Boston neighborhoods. As such, LISC Boston has partnered with Nuestra Comunidad and the City of Boston Police Department to reduce and prevent criminal activity around foreclosure hot spots and provide stability to neighborhoods in a number of ways. These measures include:

»Engaging in community organizing to mobilize residents, business owners and other neighborhood stakeholders to take ownership for the target area and partner with police to protect it.
»Promoting the strategic deployment of development resources (including federal Neighborhood Stabilization funds) to maximize public safety outcomes, such as designating foreclosed properties that overlap significantly with crime hot spot areas as high priorities for acquisition and rehab.
»Documenting structures for CDC-police collaboration (including communication tools, decision-making protocols and accountability systems) to inform future foreclosure CSI projects.
»Providing grant resources and technical assistance to support achievement of objectives.
»Facilitating knowledge-sharing with other community and police practitioners tackling foreclosure safety issues around the country.
  
Jamaica Plain NDC - Public Safety
To address the ongoing crime and blight challenges threatening the safety of residents and the prospects for economic and community development in Jamaica Plain, LISC Boston and Jamaica Plain NDC have partnered together to coordinate local stakeholders around this issue. With funding and technical support from LISC Boston, JPNDC is building collaborations with the local Boston Police District, community representatives, neighborhood associations, and local organizations from the neighborhoods of Egleston Square, Jackson Square, and Hyde Square, and incorporating safety measures into their current housing buildings. Specific activities JPNDC is undertaking include:
» Developing a mapping process to document and monitor changes in criminal activity in these three areas.
» Organizing a series of family events on community safety, such as National Night Out.
» Organizing business safety workshops with the City of Boston Police Department.
» Planning safety meetings with residents from JPNDC buildings to identify actions to be implemented by property managers and residents.
» Implementing specific projects around Jamaica Plain and JPNDC’s current housing developments that promote public safety and beautification, such as providing more outdoor lighting.
 
Dorchester Bay EDC - Prisoner Re-entry Initiative
The Prisoner Re-entry Initiative assists high risk offenders who have been incarcerated and have little to no skills or formal training to reintegrate into society with. This collaboration between LISC Boston, Dorchester Bay, and the City of Boston Police Department provides clients with skills training, resume writing, house and job searching during their stay in prison and for up to one year after they are released. 

  CSI Impact

»$700,000 in grants and technical assistance: The Congressional funds allocated to the program ($339,000) have leveraged $1.1 million in additional private resources to support program staff and projects.

» Launch of a nationally - recognized prisoner reentry demonstration project: Dorchester Bay EDC, a LISC Boston Safety affiliate, is the first CDC to participate in the “Boston Reentry Initiative” which is run by the Boston Police Department and Suffolk County House of Corrections. 

» Increased housing options for former offenders:  Following a Department Of Justice/CSI training for housing developers and property managers, several CDCs in Boston are opening their housing to former offenders and their families. This work promises to facilitate the successful transition of returning former offenders while informing CSI’s reentry projects around the country.

» Forging strategic partnerships between police and CDCs to address drug activity around Jackson Square: CSI is supporting an alliance between Boston Police leaders and the community organizations spearheading the redevelopment of Jackson Square and its surrounding neighborhood.

 
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