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Promising Practice Guide: Choice Neighborhoods and the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2016
11 pages
This guide describes the work of transforming a neighborhood in Springfield, Massachusetts, that had long been characterized by dilapidated housing and dangerous streets, using the grant resources of both the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency's (HUD's) Choice Neighborhoods Program and the U.S. Department of Justice's Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI).
The fundamental principles of the BCJI are to target crime "hot spots" that have been crime-ridden for years; to champion active roles for residents in identifying problems, selecting strategies, and creating safe environments; and to build partnerships among public, nonprofit, and community leaders in addressing longstanding crime challenges. The case studies presented are from widely divergent environments, each with unique challenges, residents, and community resources. What they have in common is how they have planned and implemented strategies to improve life in their communities. In each case, there is strong collaboration among law enforcement, residents, and an array of community-development organizations that are invested in the health and well-being of their neighborhoods. The partnerships in each of the four sites designed an action plan that included comprehensive strategies for transforming their communities to be safer and more conducive to positive interaction and development among residents. The particular activities described for each of the four sites show how neighborhood crime reduction and neighborhood revitalization are connected.