State funding through the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr., Community Safety Initiative (CSI) Grant Program has helped move the needle on youth gang violence in Lynn. A recent Lynn grant of $370,819.47, of which $36,270 comes to North Shore Community College to serve as a research partner, will continue local work for the eighth year.

 “The Shannon grant program invests in community-based efforts to connect with at-risk youth and help put them on a pathway to future success,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The long-term positive impacts of the programs funded by Shannon grants demonstrate the importance of a collaborative approach to addressing youth violence and improving the safety of our communities.”

These resources support the revitalization of Gateway Cities and regional and multi-disciplinary approaches to combat gang violence through coordinated programs for prevention and intervention. Work includes developing strategies in: social intervention; suppression; opportunity provision; organizational change; and community mobilization.

The Lynn Shannon grant will enable the Lynn Police Department, North Shore Community College, Lynn Family and Children Services, Catholic Charities, Lynn Youth Street Outreach Agency, and Lynn Parks and Recreation to continue their eight-year anti-gang efforts.  

NSCC’s role in the grant is assisting the Lynn initiative by providing strategic, analytic, technical, and research support. NSCC assists with the grant requirements from the state, conducts research and analysis on local crime trends, and provides training on the latest research in the field and current issues in criminal justice. 

Since 2015, NSCC has received $261,438 and key accomplishments have included: crime data analysis for Lynn youth between the ages of 14-24 (the grant's age range) on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis; preparation of two comprehensive Community Gang Assessment reports and worked closely with our partners and other state agencies on developing an individual risk assessment tool, for determining if a youth is at risk for becoming a gang member; and presenting bi-annual forums on CJ-related topics to partners

In addition, NSCC’s grant funds support a paid student intern position for a Lynn criminal justice student who is interested in working with youth in the community.  Interns work for a period of time with each Shannon organization and get first-hand experience as to what the youth workers do to make a difference in the lives of the population they serve. 

“The information and research NSCC produces is used by the partners to develop strategies for dealing with gang issues,” said NSCC criminal justice professor and project coordinator Frank D’Agostino. “Some of our recommendations from the Community Gang Assessment reports, regarding increased employment readiness for Lynn youth and expanding after school and evening activities, have been integrated into the providers efforts.”

“Keeping students occupied with positive extracurricular activities and employed in the summer are two proven ways of reducing gang involvement. Gang related issues have been on the decline in the city in recent years and we believe the Shannon grant efforts are a part of that. The Shannon grant has done a great deal of good work in the community for many years,” D’Agostino noted.

In 2021, Shannon CSI partners served over 15,000 young people across the Commonwealth, representing a dramatic increase of youth participation in Shannon CSI-funded programs compared to 2020.

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