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  1. CITY OF CAMDENNew Jersey National Youth Violence Prevention Forum Mayor Dana L. Redd

  2. City of Camden Team Members: Mayor Dana L. Redd Novella Starks Hinson, Chief of Staff to Mayor Redd Wanda Moore, NJ Attorney General’s Office Felisha Reyes-Morton, Board of Education Member Orlando Cuevas, Inspector of the Camden Police Department Merilee Rutolo, Vice-President of Center for Family Services Raymond Massi, US Attorney Office, Camden, NJ Working in Partnership for Our Children

  3. Camden’s Industrial Past • Industrial expansion, urban growth, and new immigration radically transformed the City

  4. Camden’s Present and Future • Camden is prime to be the regional leader and center for the Ed’s and Med’s with several world class institutions

  5. Camden’s Strengths - Location • Direct access to bridges to Philadelphia; all major highways; and regional public transportation systems

  6. Camden’s Strengths – Residents • Congress of Resident and Community Based Organizations was formed to ensure that city residents are involved in improving the quality of life through active engagement in the development process and other policy initiatives (i.e. public safety, education, and neighborhood sustainability within their neighborhoods) • Many of our Congress and clergy members took part in a chaplaincy certification program to assist our police department in providing various public safety services to our residents/communities (particularly during tragic and stressful events)

  7. Camden’s Strengths – Neighborhood Stabilization • Camden has several exciting new developments for its neighborhoods; which are propelling the city to a more prosperous future • Leveraging $26.1 million dollars in federal NSP2 funding for housing demolition, rehabilitation, new construction and greening of vacant lots in ten census tracts with the intended purpose of stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.

  8. Camden Demographics – Poverty / Employment • Population of 77,344 as of the 2010 United States Census • Roughly 31% of Camden’s population is under 18 years of age • The 2011 poverty rate for Camden City 42.5%; Rate of Children living in poverty in Camden is 56.7% • 47.5% of all families and 58.2% of single female-led families in Camden City lack the resources to provide their children with basic needs • Median household income for Camden City in 2011 was $21,191 • Camden City currently an unemployment rate of 18.4%

  9. Camden Demographics – Education • Only 6.8% of Camden’s population has a Bachelor’s degree of higher compared with 34.6% for the state • Gang presence in Camden City tripled in 2012; with 21 gangs identified from a survey result, including four that were present in the schools

  10. Camden Demographics – Youth Violence/Delinquency

  11. Camden Demographics – Juvenile Crimes 2011 v. 2012

  12. City of Camden’s Proposal • GOAL: • Develop a comprehensive youth violence prevention plan that is research-based, informed by data, and taps community resources and assets to inform strategy development in following areas: • Juvenile Crime/Juvenile Violence • Truancy/Absenteeism from School • Youth Workforce Development • Youth Homelessness • Youth Mental Health/Continuum of Care • Childhood Obesity • The plan will include goals and program objectives to ensure accountability and support resource development and sustainability

  13. Youth Court Forum Program • Collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, Municipal Court and the Camden City Public School District • Trained youth encourage their peers to take ownership of their actions and do not make determinations of guilt or innocence • They work with their peers to determine most suitable or appropriate consequence (i.e. writing essays, letters of apology and/or conducting community service) • Program will run once a week during the school year from 5pm to 7pm • Community Congress member will meet with truant student and their parents on Tuesdays in court to address additional needs • Expectation is to reduce truancy rate by 5% to 10%

  14. Levels to Brilliance - Youth Leadership Program • 16 week program for Camden City youth to further understand the value of an education and the importance of contributing positively to their school and community • Inaugural group consisted of 18 Camden City students • Four essential components that were addressed - preparation of Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit • Program concluded with a White Diamond Cotillion Ball • Program seeks to offer educational, employment and job training opportunities

  15. Expand & Enhance Current Youth Violence Prevention Programs • Assists at risk juveniles between the ages of 14 to 17 • Seeks to reduce the number of Camden City youth at risk of secure confinementby serving 65 to 80 youth per year • Anticipate 65% will be diverted from further justice system involvement • Program offers - support for juveniles under stress; mentors; counselors; life and social skills training (through enrichment activities such as Substance Abuse Education, Conflict resolution and positive role models)

  16. Moving the Plan Forward

  17. Challenges Take Away • Funding • Staffing • Opportunities for youth • Lack of resources • Education • Networking • Funding Sources • Benchmarks from participating cities • Partnerships