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U.S. Department of Justice: Youth Gang Desistance/Diversion Grant Program

Deadline: June 24, 2019

The Youth Gang Desistance/Diversion Grant Program seeks to strengthen community capacity to stem violence and reduce youth offending and victimization, improving the response to children’s exposure to violence, and enhancing public safety. Successful applicants are expected to reduce violent crime, gangs, and youth victimization, and enhance public safety in communities through desistance/diversion opportunities for youth at risk of becoming gang involved or continuing in the gang lifestyle.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Comprehensive Gang Model is a set of five core strategies—community mobilization, opportunities provision, social intervention, suppression, and organizational change and development—that offer a comprehensive, collaborative approach designed to prevent and reduce gang violence. These core strategies are described in more detail below:

  • Community Mobilization: Involvement of local citizens, including former gang youth, community groups, and agencies, and coordination of programs and staff functions within and across agencies
  • Opportunities Provision: Development of a variety of specific education, training, and employment programs targeting gang-involved youth
  • Social Intervention: Youth-serving agencies, schools, grassroots groups, faith-based organizations, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice organizations reaching out and acting as links to gang-involved youth, their families, and the conventional world and needed services
  • Suppression: Formal and informal social control procedures, including close supervision or monitoring of gang youth by agencies of the criminal justice system and also by community-based agencies, schools, and grassroots groups
  • Organizational Change and Development: Development and implementation of policies and procedures that result in the most effective use of available and potential resources, within and across agencies, to better address the gang problem

Gang desistance and diversion is broadly understood as intervening with those youth who are already gang involved and assisting them with the cessation of antisocial and offending behaviors associated with gang membership/gang lifestyle. Applicant organizations are encouraged to develop and implement a variety of desistance and diversion strategies, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing access for gang-involved youth to job-related education opportunities such as special educational and vocational skills and readiness training that is structured, to the extent possible, within regular schools, training programs, and mainstream job opportunities
  • Ensuring that substance abuse programming, mental health counseling, and other services for gang members are available and accessible, and are preferably located within the target community
  • Providing a variety of services that assist targeted youth (and their families) in adopting non-deviant values and in accessing programs and organizations that will meet their social, educational, vocational, and sometimes health, housing, and income needs
  • Establishing street outreach to focus on core gang youth, with special capacity to reach youth (both non-adjudicated and adjudicated) in a local community setting, with the primary focus of building an ongoing and prosocial relationship with youth and families while linking them to appropriate services

Amount: Approximately $2,000,000 is available to make up to four awards of up tp $500,000 for a 36-moth project period.

Eligibility: States (including territories), units of local government, federally recognized tribal governments, nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations), and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education). Eligible applicants that propose to provide direct services to youth must not include youth who are age 18 or older in the population they will serve.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=315165

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