Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
BCJI Funding Year: FY2019
BCJI Awardee: City of Baton Rouge
Research Partner: Envisage Research and Analytics
Focus Areas: Brookstown, Downtown, Downtown East, Glen Oaks, Zion City, Istrouma, Dixi, Jones Creek, North Baton Rouge, North Sherwood Forest, Old South Baton Rouge, Scotlandville - Population 100,210
Challenges: Violent Crime, Youth Victimization, Gun Violence
According to an analysis of Baton Rouge crime data, the most substantial proportions of violent crime and gang activity between 2016 and 2018 occurred in 10 neighborhoods comprising 6 percent of the parish, a total of 31.5 square miles. The combined median age of residents in the 10 target areas is 33, and the average annual income of residents is $36,336. In total, these 10 neighborhoods account for 46 percent of violent and drug-related crime in the parish. Despite the high levels of crime, the target neighborhoods have several assets, including 37 civic organizations, 1 homeless shelter, 4 emergency shelters, 45 public parks, 275 churches, 2 community centers, 28 public schools, 44 food access programs, and 288 healthcare facilities.
During the Planning Phase, the following goals will guide Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) practitioner and stakeholders:
- Goal 1: Empower community members by establishing a community member-led advisory council to support and direct law enforcement efforts to reduce violenc crime, dismantle gang activity, and enhance police-community relations.
- Goal 2: Empower a community member-led advisory council with knowledge about community perceptions, local risk factors, crime, and gang activities to direct crime prevention and response efforts in the Baton Rouge area.
- Goal 3: Deploy data-driven, community member-initiated programming and law enforcement strategies as a mechanism to build social cohesion, improve collective efficacy, and reduce crime.
The Planning Phase will include a multiagency, multidisciplinary exploration of crime, community perceptions of crime, risk factors, and gang activity. During the Planning Phase, the site coordinator will identify community leaders to be members of the BCJI Advisory Council, which will be a multidisciplinary collective of individuals and organizations tasked with ingesting information collected and analyzed during the Planning Phase and making programmatic decisions for the Implementation Phase of the project.
Other Key Partners
Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, East Baton Rouge District Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Metropolitan Council Members, Office of the Mayor-President
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.