Mayor Scott Releases Annual Public Safety Report
Thursday Jul 7th, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement Reports on One-Year Progress of Multi-Year Violence Prevention Plan
BALTIMORE, MD. (Thursday, July 7, 2022) -Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott released Baltimore’s first annual public safety report, compiled by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE). The report provides a year-in-review progress update of the implementation of Baltimore’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan (CVPP), Mayor Scott’s holistic five-year strategy aimed to treat gun violence as a public health crisis through coordinated, sustainable practices.
"Making Baltimore a safer city for all of our residents is the most critical undertaking of my administration; however, we can only produce sustained outcomes if we center our approach to public safety around public health, trauma-informed practices, and the lived experiences of our residents," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "This is not work that occurs overnight, but MONSE and my entire administration remain committed to building and operationalizing systems that will help us move Baltimore forward towards a healthier and safer future."
As his public safety agency, Mayor Scott charged MONSE with coordinating city agencies and community partners to employ a systems-design approach to holistically address the challenges of trauma and violence on young people, families, and neighborhoods in Baltimore. MONSE, which began operation in January 2021 under the leadership of Director Shantay Jackson, replaced and significantly broadened the scope of its predecessor agency, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. The Mayor allocated $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds over the next three years to the agency to fund violence prevention efforts, including community violence intervention, victim services, youth justice, re-entry services, and community healing.
MONSE has made significant achievements since its inception in January 2021. Through its Foundational Year, it has focused on defining and staffing the work, building the infrastructure to support it, developing key local, state, and federal partnerships to strengthen coordination, initiating pilots to begin to prove concepts articulated in the plan, and starting the work of coordinating City agency partners.
Under Mayor Scott’s leadership, the year-old agency has accomplished the following:
- Began implementation of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) in the Western Police District, in partnership with local and national technical advisors, BPD, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office, federal and state law enforcement agencies including the DEA, ATF, FBI, U.S. Marshals, Maryland DPSCS, DJS, DP&P, other government services, and service providers Roca and YAP.
- Developed a framework for a Community Violence Intervention (CVI) ecosystem recognized by partners in the White House that includes not only violence intervention programming, but also victim services, intensive life coaching, hospital-based response, school-based response, and other wraparound supports – a marked shift in strategy from past efforts that involve incomplete, disparate, and one-off efforts and initiatives.
- Made award announcements totaling over $17.6 million to organizations focused on community violence intervention, victim services, youth justice, re-entry, and community healing to receive ARPA dollars targeted at improving public safety outcomes for our city.
- Finalized and publicly released the findings and recommendations of MONSE's internal evaluation of cultural and operational norms associated with Baltimore's 10 current Safe Streets sites - with a focus on providing greater support, safety, training, and career pathway development for the city's violence interrupters, while providing stronger accountability and oversight of the program as a whole.
- Laid the foundation for expanded victim services for gunshot survivors to have a more direct, immediate impact on victims of gun violence. This is a new offering for the City of Baltimore and is integral to securing needed resources, reducing retaliation and revictimization, and working to mediate residual conflicts.
- Built the infrastructure for case management within MONSE, a brand-new role for the agency and started providing case management services and referrals to residents broadly impacted by gun violence and other traumatic events.
- Activated the first Coordinated Neighborhood Stabilization Response (CNSR) in response to a mass shooting in the Eastern District. CNSR is a trauma-informed approach to violence prevention that mobilizes City agencies and community-based partners to embed critical, readily accessible resources in communities that experience acts of violence or other traumatic events over a 45-day period - both proactively and reactively. Informed by 211, 311 and 911 data, MONSE coordinates with partner agencies and organizations in the community so that each activation is specifically tailored to the response area.
- Expanded services available to youth at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system in partnership with BPD, by initiating the City’s first ever youth pre-arrest diversion pilot, known as SideStep, in the Western District to MONSE’s existing youth post-arrest diversion work.
- Began to lay a strong foundation for and work in partnership with two communities – Fayette Street Outreach/Penrose and Brooklyn/Curtis Bay – as part of a Neighborhood Policing Plan (NPP) pilot program. As part of this work, MONSE is coordinating interagency partners – including the Department of Housing and Community Development and BPD – to begin development of a framework for a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) approach, aligned with the Mayor’s recent inter-agency directive to address vacant buildings.
- Closed out a backlog of previous contracts, totaling over $10M and spanning FY 2019 to FY 2021, which the agency inherited from the past administration.
- Re-established the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), held regular meetings, and established a joint working plan to improve criminal justice coordination across local, state, and federal partners. MONSE staffs the CJCC and led a process by which workgroups were established and the foundation was laid for the forthcoming Public Safety Accountability Dashboard.
- Testified in legislative hearings before the Maryland General Assembly and Baltimore City Council, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Government Relations.
Upon the transition into Fiscal Year ‘23, or MONSE’s Framing Year, the agency will focus on (1) deepening and broadening the partnership with our law enforcement partners through the group violence reduction strategy, (2) further developing Baltimore’s community violence intervention ecosystem, (3) further increasing the capacity of community-based organizations to support the work of violence prevention, (4) developing a robust re-entry program for individuals experiencing incarceration, and (5) establishing internal and external data tracking tools to measure key performance indicators.
"MONSE feels great urgency to lay a strong foundation from the ground up that ultimately leads to a safer Baltimore – a foundation that we know will produce sustainable outcomes for our residents. To this end, we are working to deliver both the short- and long-term strategies of Baltimore’s Violence Prevention Plan," said Director Shantay Jackson. "Understanding that this is not overnight work, MONSE has remained diligently focused on meeting the ambitious timelines and targets we established during our foundational year so that we are in a position to maintain course and ramp up our efforts moving forward. We remain confident in our ability to take our coordination, implementation, and engagement work on behalf of all Baltimoreans to the next level as we embark on the next phase of this crucial effort."
Members of the public can read the annual report in full here.