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State Sponsored Project in Johnson City Receives National Award

Friday, August 22, 2014 | 04:03am

NASHVILLE – A state-sponsored program in Johnson City has received a national award for its strategies in reducing crime.  Johnson City’s Targeted Community Crime Reduction Program (TCCRP) has received the National Criminal Justice Association 2014 Program of the Year Award for the Southern Region, over 13 other programs from across the southern U.S.  The program receives funding through the state’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP.)

“This is a tremendous honor and well-deserved national recognition for the Johnson City program,” OCJP Director Bill Scollon said.  “Everyone connected with this program has worked hard to truly have an impact in the community, and improve quality of life for citizens served.”

The concept for the project began six years ago, as OCJP developed a more targeted approach to combating crime in a collaborative and sustainable way. 

“The first key to the success and recognition of the program is to drive decisions with data identifying time, location and nature of criminal activity,” Scollon said.  “Secondly, the program must include a variety of community partners including citizens, non-profit organizations, the private sector and state and local government.”

Johnson City’s TCCRP project has six funded and 25 unfunded partners. 

Scollon said the third key to the project’s success is in identifying a multi-pronged approach of employing evidence-based strategies to mitigate the criminal activity.   Strategies must address the following categories:

  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Crime Prevention
  • Enforcement Efforts
  • Offender Intervention

Finally, the program is evaluated both as to the individual strategies as well as the overall effectiveness in reducing crime.

The Johnson City TCCRP has demonstrated the benefits of community collaboration in the pursuit of better public safety outcomes.  Individual strategies have seen success in the form of the number of student absences being reduced by 15.8 percent, as well as the reduction in the number of in-school/out-of-school disciplines reduced by 20 percent. At the same time the overall project has shown early success as evidenced by a decrease in the incidence of crime in the two target zones.

The Targeted Community Crime Reduction Projects (TCCRPs) in Tennessee seek to instill in each community a strong planning component which looks at high crime areas in the city and works toward reducing that crime. This is done through extensive research into the root causes of the crime, an evaluation of the resources available, development of evidence-based strategies to mitigate the problem, advancement of government and private partnerships both inside and outside the criminal justice system and an ongoing evaluation of the strategies and overall project.

The Tennessee OCJP manages a systematic, year-round cycle for determining the communities’ needs, identifying the justice system’s problems, setting program priorities, making grant allocation decisions, managing those funded projects, and evaluating the results of those decisions.

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