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City Gets $750K To Tackle Youth Violence

by Thomas MacMillan | Oct 17, 2013 8:19 am

(9) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: City Hall

Thomas MacMillan Photo Twice as many young New Haveners will have access to employment training and “work-learn” internships, thanks to a boost of cash from the state.

The state has agreed to send $750,000 in all to support programs to prevent youth violence.

Among the beneficiaries of the grant is the New Haven Family Alliance, which will be able to double its “Project Success” program, according to Barbara Tinney (pictured), head of the organization. The program trains teens and places them in stipended internships. Hers is just one of several youth services agencies that will receive money from the grant.

Tinney was among a group of city and state officials who announced the grant at a Wednesday press conference in City Hall.

The money comes from the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch and is being used for youth programming that is “aligned with the Centers For Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for preventing violence among at-risk youth,” according to a release. That means things like mediation, mentoring and job training.

The city is distributing the $750,000 to local organizations through a competitive grant process. Grants ranging from about $10,000 to $50,000 have been given to organizations including New Haven Family Alliance, Elephant In The Room boxing gym, Higher Heights, Solar Youth, LEAP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Community Mediation.

Mayor John DeStefano hailed the city’s delegation in Hartford—including state Sen. Toni Harp—for helping to secure the grant.

Harp, who’s running for mayor, hailed the Board of Aldermen for its leadership. Working with city youth is a central part of the board’s legislative agenda, as agreed upon in 2012.

“Youth violence and hopelessness have risen to crisis levels,” said Yale Alderwoman Sarah Eidelson, chair of the board’s Youth Services Committee.

Tinney said the state money will allow New Haven Family Alliance to have about 40 teens in its Project Success program this year, instead of the 20 it would otherwise have.

The 44-week is designed for young people between 15 and 20 years old who have had some sort of contact with law enforcement, Tinney said. The first phase focuses on life- and employment-skills development. Teens meet with staff four times a wee for two hours at a time. The program also includes a 12-week “work-learn” placement, for which teens receive a stipend. The teens have to be in good standing academically, or demonstrating effort to get there.

At the close of the press conference, Mayor DeStefano noted that most of New Haven’s violence is not directly youth-related, but is more closely linked to the prison-reentry population. It’s still necessary to pay attention to young people, he said. “We often put people on paths in their younger years.”

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posted by: robn on October 17, 2013  8:47am

“Youth violence and hopelessness have risen to crisis levels,” Yale Alderwoman Sarah Eidelson

Just curious. Is there annual comparative data to back this statement up?

posted by: Noteworthy on October 17, 2013  9:30am

What did Toni Harp do to help the city get that grant?

posted by: robn on October 17, 2013  12:48pm

This answers my question.

The answer is NO.

Youth violence in CT is up a bit from a decade ago, but has trended way downward since 1994.

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/stats_at-a_glance/ct.html

posted by: robn on October 17, 2013  1:01pm

Here’s another.

Is Wednesday “Opposite Day” for Alderwoman Sarah Eidelson?

http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/jpi_juvenile_justice_reform_in_ct.pdf#page=20

posted by: FacChec on October 17, 2013  1:57pm

“The city is distributing the $750,000 to local organizations through a competitive grant process. Grants ranging from about $10,000 to $50,000 have been given to organizations including New Haven Family Alliance, Elephant In The Room boxing gym, Higher Heights, Solar Youth, LEAP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Community Mediation”.

The money comes from the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch; other similar grants come from the U.S. Department Of justice for the police Department. 


One problem with grants coming into the city is that there is little to no accountability, except quarterly to Simi-annually reports to the funding source replicating that the money is being spent.

Another problem is that as witnessed above the funds are distributed to so many sub groups and those groups take 40% off the top for their administrative cost, that the end result is that very little remains to distribute to the ground level, resulting in little impact on the problem it is designed to cure.

In this story:

“Tinney said the state money will allow New Haven Family Alliance to have about 40 teens in its Project Success program this year, instead of the 20 it would otherwise have.

“The 44-week is designed for young people between 15 and 20 years old who have had some sort of contact with law enforcement, Tinney said. The first phase focuses on life- and employment-skills development. Teens meet with staff four times a week for two hours at a time. The program also includes a 12-week “work-learn” placement, for which teens receive a stipend. The teens have to be in good standing academically, or demonstrating effort to get there”.

The only tangible benefit the program seems to produce is…
...“a 12-week “work-learn” placement, for which teens receive a stipend”.

There are no metrics, goals, objectives or expected results mentioned here.

posted by: K Harrison on October 17, 2013  5:21pm

robn,

I would also be interested in seeing the data on comparative youth violence today and in history. I will be the first to admit that I don’t know how to track down those numbers. However, the data that you (why so crankily?) present is for all of CT, not just for New Haven. Now, I suspect the NHV numbers would echo the CT numbers, because every graph I’ve seen of prosperity and safety in New Haven looks basically the same—but in any case your evidence does not seem to fully support your premise re: “opposite day” here.

Because if you think there isn’t a crisis of violence among young people in New Haven, especially young people with records, especially in non-white neighborhoods…I’m just getting angry now so I’m going to stop.

I agree with FacCheck that I wish we had better insight into how money was being spent and what the results of different interventions are. I guess that’s what the CDC nod is about. But it’s hard for me to see how it could be a bad thing for more New Haven kids with records to have internships that help them build a strong work history. And my sense is that metrics and longitudinal data collection is not cheap either.

posted by: robn on October 17, 2013  5:49pm

KH

The data I link to, both state and city describe the opposite of what Alderwoman Sarah Eidelson calls a rising crisis. Maybe I’m cranky because an Alderperson is misinforming the public either through ignorance or (more likely) opportunistic demagoguery.

posted by: Threefifths on October 17, 2013  9:04pm

Gangs represent organized crime networks that stretch arcoss this country.The gangs embedded in the urban areas are controlled by drug lords and drug suppliers.There is a war going on in America between gangs of young men who bear an uncanny resemblance to their counterparts in Sierra Leone or El Salvador. They live like them, they fight for control of the streets like them and they kill like them.Black horrific murder rate is a result of the transformation of major American cities into Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda and El Salvador. Our murder rate now largely consists of criminals killing criminals.It will never stop because There are too many folks making a handsome living associated with the these killings Just think about all the attorneys, judges, jailers. police medical organizations, insurance companies, bankers, smugglers, drug lords, pushers who profit from this.

posted by: anonymous on October 18, 2013  10:55am

Perhaps NHI can investigate how much of this $750K “youth investment” grant actually will be going to young people (in the form of salary, stipends, etc.).  Good to know that it is higher than 0%. 

Not too long ago, teenagers and young adults could find paid work, but these days it is nearly impossible.

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