FACT SHEET: PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS:
AMERICAS NETWORK AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE
Project Safe Neighborhoods History and Expansion
In May 2001, President Bush announced Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun crime in America. By linking together federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders, PSN has provided a multi-faceted approach to prosecuting and deterring gun crime. In 2006, the Department of Justice expanded PSN to include new and enhanced anti-gang efforts. The goal is to use strategies and partnerships with state and local law enforcement and communities pioneered under PSN to shut down violent gangs in America.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods strategy involves five elements: partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach and accountability. The U.S. Attorney in each of the 94 federal judicial districts works side-by-side with local law enforcement and other officials to tailor the PSN strategy to fit the unique gun and gang crime problems in that district. Criminals are prosecuted under federal, state or local laws, depending on which jurisdiction can provide the most appropriate punishment. PSN task forces engage in community outreach and media campaigns to deter gun and gang crime, and deploy grant funds to support effective prosecution and prevention programs. Both at the local and national levels, PSN also ensures that law enforcement officers and prosecutors have the training necessary to make the program work.
Project Safe Neighborhoods Is Working
Under PSN, the number of federal firearms prosecutions has increased significantly, and defendants earn substantial sentences in federal prison. PSNs deterrence and prevention efforts complement this focus on enforcement.
Each of these PSAs focuses on the pain that gun crime offenders cause their own families to endure.
Continued Support for Local Project Safe Neighborhoods Efforts
Since 2001, PSN has committed approximately $2 billion to federal, state and local efforts to fight gun crime and gang violence. These funds have been used to hire new federal, state and local prosecutors, provide training, hire research and community outreach support, and develop and promote effective prevention and deterrence efforts. The following have occurred since the implementation of PSN:
Supporting PSNs state, local and community partners is the foundation of the initiative. This year, the Department is making available the following grant funding:
The Departments FY 2008 budget request includes $200 million for Violent Crime Reduction Partnership grants and over $13 million for other violent-crime-related enhancements that will support the Project Safe Neighborhoods program and increase the prosecution of gangs and violent criminals.
Additionally, since the inception of PSN in 2001, the Department has made available in grant funding:
Project Safe Neighborhoods Complements Other Department of Justice Violent Crime Reduction Efforts
PSNs emphasis on violent gangs complements existing Department of Justice anti-gang efforts, such as the ATF-led Violent Crime Impact Teams that are currently deployed in 29 cities; the 182 FBI-led Safe Streets Task Forces that focus on organized criminal gangs and violent crime; and the Weed and Seed Program, which has more than 300 active sites across the country that focus on weeding out criminal elements from a community and providing that community with social and economic rehabilitation resources.
PSNs anti-gang efforts will also supplement new efforts to combat violent gangs, such as the Attorney Generals Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative being implemented in 10 sites: Los Angeles, Tampa, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Milwaukee, the 222 Corridor that stretches from Easton to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Raleigh/Durham, N.C., and Rochester, N.Y. The department is committing approximately $2.5 million in grant funding for prevention, enforcement, and offender reentry initiatives in each of these sites.
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