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ADDRESSING CRIME: “A wise person once told me that when you know better, you do better. We now know trauma is a key component to our crime. So we – and that includes every agency and every member of our community – need to do better.
The City of Rockford government has been and will continue to take the lead on this issue, along with help from many critical community partners:
• We doubled the number of kids in Early Childhood education and doubled the number of hours our four and five years olds are in the classroom.
• We partnered with RPS205 to implement Handle with Care, which will provide critical communication between the Rockford Police Department and RPS205 staff when a student has been listed as a victim or witness in a police report.
• We launched Camp Hope, a trauma informed camp and mentorship program for youth impacted by physical and sexual violence.
• We implemented Step Up, which allows youth who are involved in minor crimes to enroll in an adolescent family violence intervention program as an alternative to entering the court system.
• We developed the Juvenile Recovery and Crime Prevention Program, which aligns children and their families with whole family case managers for navigation through criminal justice, education, health and social service systems.
• We created a No Entry Program, which seeks to lower racial and ethnic disparities at the point of entry into the criminal justice system and prevent minors of color who have experienced trauma from entering into the school to prison pipeline by providing and increasing access to effective trauma-focused treatment and service systems within the community.
• We developed a Collaborative Summer Program with Rockford Park District to identify and mitigate trauma experienced by participants. It includes strategies to address immediate and long-term harms in order to prevent future violence.
• We created the Rockford Promise NIU partnership to provide any child who lives in Rockford and graduates from RPS with 3.0gpa free tuition for four years at NIU.
• We are hiring at-risk youth to gain job skills by working in our Water Department and to build sidewalks in neighborhoods across the community.
We’ve been busy, but our work isn’t done. This month, we’re launching a new neighborhood initiative. Throughout the spring and summer, we’ll focus on six select neighborhoods negatively impacted by violent crime by connecting their residents to community resources and services. One neighborhood at time, we’re bringing staff, partner organizations, and resources directly to those areas to help build relationships with and between residents. The goal is to improve neighborhoods, provide hope to our residents and reduce crime.
We are working hard to fight violent crime every day; however, we know we cannot do it alone. We need every person and every organization to fight for our community together. Please find a way to get involved. Talk to neighbors. Encourage your employer to join the effort. We can achieve great things when we work together. ” Mayor McNamara
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