Baltimore, Maryland

Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation

Baltimore, Maryland

BCJI Funding Year: FY2019

BCJI Awardee: Greater Baybrook Alliance, Inc.

Research Partner: Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center at the University of Maryland

Focus Area: Baybrook Peninsula - Population 14,243

Challenges: Gun Violence, Recidivism, Community Revitalization

Neighborhood Characteristics

The target area for the Baybrook Violence Reduction Program is the Baybrook Peninsula, which encompasses Brooklyn, Brooklyn Park, and Curtis Bay. These neighborhoods include four federally designated Opportunity Zones. Despite being in different jurisdictions, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn, and Curtis Bay make up a cohesive community with physically similar and economically interdependent characteristics. The neighborhoods are geographically isolated from their respective jurisdictions by both natural and man-made barriers. Brooklyn and Curtis Bay are isolated from Baltimore City by the Baltimore Inner Harbor and industrial land, while Brooklyn Park is isolated from the relatively wealthy Anne Arundel County by two interstate highways.

The Baybrook Peninsula suffers from higher unemployment and family poverty rates than Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County as a whole. The family poverty rate in Brooklyn and Curtis Bay is 39.5 percent compared to Baltimore's family poverty rate of 28.4. Similarly, Brooklyn Park has a poverty rate of 11.4 percent compared to 7.0 percent for the whole of Anne Arundel County. These socio-economic factors are a result of a shared history of isolation and disinvestment among the Peninsula neighborhoods.

Increasing levels of poverty, unemployment, and decaying infrastructure perpetuate a cycle of increased crime followed by further disinvestment. More recently, the Peninsula has ben acutely affected by a spike in violent crime that followed the 2015 uprising and unrest in Baltimore. Increased crime has had a compounding impact, with increased levels of drug dealing, overdoses, and firearm violence that has reduced the quality of life and threatened social ties among community residents.

The Greater Baybrook Alliance (GBA) is a local community development corporation that convenes a broad cross-section of both neighborhood and public stakeholders. GBA has brought over $3,000,000 in state and local funds for revitalization projects in housing, economic development, and other physical improvements to the area. Despite its challenges, the community has fostered strong neighborhood institutions and physical assets. The new Brooklyn Safe Streets Program employs the evidence-based Cure Violence strategy, a key violence reduction resource that will be leveraged by this program. Faith groups, robust youth and school-based resources, and other neighborhood-based service organizations work closely across all three neighborhoods to address the needs of vulnerable community members. Both the Baltimore Police and Anne Arundel Police Departments have local community problem-oriented policing units assigned to the area.

Planning Phase

The GBA envisions a thriving community that is free of gun violence. The Alliance hopes to achieve this vision by implementing a coordinated cross-sector, multi-jurisdictional, and community-based gun violence intervention that is data-driven and tailored to the community's local context. The Baybrook Violence Reduction Program will deliver services to people who are at most immediate risk of becoming either a victim or perpetrator of gun violence. The strategy consists of a coordinated effort to deliver services to people in the community at the most immediate risk of harm, targeted messaging around non-violence, and increased cooperation and trust-building between police and the community. These strategies will be coordinated to achieve the program's objectives.

The Planning Phase will focus on building out the site's implementation strategy around three goals:

  1. Reduce gun violence by 20 percent, measured by homicides and non-fatal shootings.
  2. Successfully deliver services to at least 30 vulnerable individuals at the most immediate risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of gun violence.
  3. Achieve a recidivism rate of 25 percent or lower among vulnerable individuals successfully receiving services.

The GBA will convene a leadership team of community members most directly impacted by violence, as well as key stakeholder representatives. Key stakeholders will include but will not be limited to: community members with lived experience with violence, neighborhood service providers, the Baltimore and Anne Arundel County Police Departments, health system providers, Brooklyn Homes, locally based faith leaders, and the Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center (MCRIC) at the University of Maryland.

The Leadership Team will utilize the neighborhood analysis conducted by the MCRIC, as well as information about peer cities and best practices on violence reduction to develop a final implementation plan that addresses fun violence within the community.

Other Key Partners

Baltimore Police Department, Anne Arundel Police Department, Safe Streets Brooklyn, Brooklyn Homes, MedStar Harbor Hospital, local faith leaders and organizations

This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 2018-BJ-BX-K035 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.

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