Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program
The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Grant Program is a national program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The program is designed to create safer neighborhoods by reducing gun violence and gun crime and sustaining that reduction. The effectiveness of Project Safe Neighborhoods is based on the ability of federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified offensive that is led by the U.S. Attorney in each of the 94 federal judicial districts. Each U.S. Attorney is responsible for establishing a collaborative PSN task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement and other community members to implement the five core elements of Project Safe Neighborhoods - partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach, and accountability - in a manner that addresses the specific gun-crime problems in that district. The goal is to create safer neighborhoods by reducing gun violence and sustaining the reduction.
Description of Program
Incorporating the PSN concept of partnerships, Guam’s PSN Task Force members had identified several strategic priority issues and program responses relating to gun violence in Guam. The priority areas identified are information systems and technology improvement, training, and gun safety and education. In addition to these priority areas, projects funded under PSN must also take into consideration the following national priorities for PSN:
- Increased prosecution of violent organizations using federal conspiracy, racketeering, narcotics, and all other available laws aggressively to attack and punish violent drug traffickers, violent street gangs, and violent robbery rings;
- Heightened enforcement of all federal laws against illegal gun traffickers, as well as corrupt federal firearms licensees who supply them, with an emphasis on traffickers who supply illegal firearms to violent organizations and to juveniles; and
- Renewed aggressive enforcement of existing federal firearms laws against those persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms or who use firearms in furtherance of illegal activities, including those persons denied under the Brady Act.
Through the Grant Program, Guam has received over $400,000 in funds to address the priority areas identified. In 2006, the Anti-Gang Initiative was incorporated under the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program. The Anti-Gang Initiative is an expanded anti-gang prevention and enforcement effort. According to nationwide reports, gangs have become an increasingly deadly threat to the safety and security of our nation’s citizens. Addressing this threat is one of the top priorities of the Department of Justice. The new Anti-Gang Initiative will enhance PSN task force efforts to combat gangs by building on effective PSN strategies and the need for additional funding.
The Anti-Gang Initiative has a two-fold strategy: First, prioritize prevention programs to provide youth and offenders returning to the community with opportunities to help them resist gang involvement; and secondly, ensure robust enforcement policies when gang-related violence does occur.