Fighting Gang Violence with Research and Empirical Evidence

ORLANDO, Fla, – Frontline practitioners working on gang prevention, intervention and suppression are gathered this week for the National Gang Symposium in Orlando, Fla. For prevention, think of the Boys & Girls Club. For intervention, think of the Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, whose motto is “nothing stops a bullet like a job.” And for suppression, well, of course, think of the police. The number crunchers from the National Gang Center, using their own just released data, are telling symposium attendees today that gangs remain a substantial problem in the nation. However, gang levels are lower than the peak levels in the mid-1990s, and law enforcement agencies reported gang activity in their jurisdictions at about the same levels for five straight years – all this during a time when overall violence is way down.

Congressional Earmarks Fund Georgia Programs for Kids; Future Earmarks in Jeopardy

The Justice Department has published the list of OJJDP congressional earmarks for the 2010 fiscal year.  Twenty-one programs in Georgia got funding for a total of $3.2 million.  Here are some of the largest awards along with congressional sponsors:

$500,000   City of Valdosta    Sponsors: Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$300,000   Georgia Bureau of Investigation     Sponsor:  Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
$250,000    University of West Georgia    Sponsors:  Rep. Phil Gingrey(R-Marietta), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$250,000    Rockdale County    Sponsors:  Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia), Rep. David Scott (D-Jonesboro), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$250,000    Project Rebound, Inc.    Sponsor:  Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany)
$200,000    City of Moultrie Police Department    Sponsors:  Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Macon), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
$150,000    Truancy Intervention Project Georgia, Inc.     Sponsor:  Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Earmarks may be on the endangered list next year, according to Youth Today, which tracks federal earmarks for youth projects.  Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tea Party supporters want a ban on earmarks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) are also on board. President Obama wants to limit earmarks, and some congressional Democrats facing reelection in 2012 are under pressure to stop the practice. Earmarks aren’t the only source of federal funding for juvenile justice projects. Another $2,480,463 in competitive grants also went to agencies based in Georgia. Here’s that list from OJJDP:

$349,969     Family drug court programs in Chatham County Juvenile Court
$300,000   GBI law enforcement strategies to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation
$409,390    Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at the GBI
$296,104     Juvenile Drug Courts and Mentoring Initiative in Columbus
$625,000     Young Adult Guidance Center, Inc. for the Second Chance Act Juvenile Mentoring Initiative
$500,000     The Center for Working Families, Inc. for Strategic Enhancement to Mentoring Programs

In addition, $42 million was allocated to the Boys and Girls Clubs for mentoring programs across the nation through their headquarters in Atlanta

Town Hall: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Participant Media, Seek Solutions to Education Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – Nov 28, 2010 – Media Advisory            December 2, 2010 Event       Contacts:
Mitch Leff, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, (404) 861-4769
Sarah Douglas, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, (678) 521-5289

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Participant Media Seek Solutions to Education Crisis at WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” Town Hall Meeting: “Partnering for Change – The Role of Community in Improving Education for All Children”

National Leaders in Education, Business and Government to Screen Film Excerpts and Offer Ideas for America’s Ailing Education System

When:  Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, 10 a.m. – Noon
Where: Hill Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Visuals/Interviews
Educators, Parents, Teens, Elected Officials, Non-Profit Leaders

What:   On Thursday, December 2, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Participant Media will host a Town Hall meeting featuring clips from the film WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” which explores the current state of education in the U.S. and follows five children whose dreams, hopes and untapped potential reveal all that is at stake at this critical moment. The Town Hall Meeting, “Partnering for Change: The Role of the Community in Improving Education for All Children,” will bring parents and teens together with top local and national education, business and government leaders, to discuss solutions to the problems in the nation’s education system. Moderator:    Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League

Panelists:    
●  Milton J. Little, President, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta   
● Roxanne Spillett, President/CEO, BGCA
● Elida Perez-Knapp, Community Development Specialist, National PTA
● Joseph Edelin, 7th Grade Chair and Social Studies Teacher, KIPP WAYS Academy, Atlanta

The National Dropout Crisis
BGCA recently launched a new campaign dedicated to tackling the nation’s high school dropout crisis.  The goal is to help kids graduate from high school, prepared with the attitude, knowledge and confidence to achieve a great future (http://www.bgca.org/whywecare/Pages/EducationCrisis.aspx.)

WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” Social Action Campaign
The WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” social action campaign seeks to accelerate a national conversation about the crisis in public education and to help ensure that every child in America gets a great education.