(Jackson, MS) – Wednesday, the City of Jackson announced its partnership with the People’s Advocacy Institute to address crime and violence in the capital city with the help of a $150,000.00 grant awarded to the organization to implement crime prevention programs.
“Today marks a wonderful period in the process of how we address issues of crime. Often as a community, when we look at the issues of crime, we focus on the what, we focus on the effects, we focus on robberies, we focus on the violence that takes place, but we fail to truly address the why. Why things are taking place and how we address them on the front end. We have a police force that is working every day to respond to crime, but if we’re only looking at crime as a matter of response, we are far behind the ball,” said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba during the announcement.
The grant, awarded by fwd.com, a bipartisan organization dedicated to moving America forward by helping people reach their full potential through criminal justice and immigration reform, will enable the People’s Advocacy Institute to develop pilot programs such as Credible Messenger Mentoring and Violence Interrupter Training to stop crime before it happens.
“The Credible Messenger program is a program that uses people who have been a part of the justice system themselves [and] who have experienced the ills of our community in many different ways, to also be the messengers and the experts that they are, around how we can create better realities, better, healthier, safer communities, and transform lives. So, moving people from participating in criminal activities to actually be the ones who are moving us toward sustainable, generative community development,” explained People’s Advocacy Institute Founder, Rukia Lumumba.
The Credible Messenger program is meant to be a transformational process geared towards young people who have either already been caught up in the juvenile justice system or are at high-risk for becoming so, and have not been able to be reached through traditional social services.
The goal of both programs is to increase community resources by building supportive relationships among neighbors and people at risk of committing crimes.