The SNI model was developed to stem violence and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth. In February 1993 the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, the Suffolk District Attorney's Office, the Mayor's Office of the City of Boston and the Boston Police Department developed the first Safe Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) in the City of Boston. This model was soon replicated in other communities using similar principles but tailored to fit the needs of the neighborhood. The SNI model at its simplest is an effective coalition of community residents, state and local government offices, law enforcement agencies, and human service organizations.
In most communities, SNI Advisory Councils provide a framework for the community to work directly with law enforcement and government officials to identify and address priority public safety and quality-of-life-issues utilizing the three core SNI principles:
- The coordinated law enforcement strand includes community policing, the establishment of an SNI neighborhood prosecutor in District and Superior Courts, and enhanced cooperation in special projects between the community and law enforcement agencies.
- The neighborhood revitalization efforts of the SNI may include expedited city services, rehabilitation of abandoned property, the coordination of local merchants, and/or job training programs.
- The prevention, intervention, and treatment principle of the SNI mobilizes community and government resources around priority community health issues, from youth violence prevention to outreach to seniors.
The Attorney General's Office has relationships with SNIs in several communities around the Commonwealth, including in Boston, Taunton, Orange, New Bedford, Brockton and Haverhill. The AGO currently works with these community partners on issues such as youth employment, wage and hour laws, and housing. For more information on the Safe Neighborhood Initiative, call (617) 963-2910.