- Budget Message
- Issues in Brief
- Investing in Education to Close the Achievement Gap
- Investing in Innovations & Infrastructure to Create Jobs, Expand Opportunity
- Expanding Access to Affordable, Quality Health Care
- Building Stronger, Safer Communities through Positive Youth Development & Youth Violence Prevention
- Raising Revenue for Critical Investments
- Transportation Reform
- Workforce Development and Community Colleges Reform
- Retiree Health Reform
- Investing in our Communities
- Public Housing Reform
- Pharmacy Reform
- Innovations to Improve Operations
- Access for Children, Youth, and Families
- Lowering Health Care Costs to Businesses
- Sheriff Funding Review
- Court Re-Alignment
- Accelerated Energy Program
- Improving Government Performance
- Budget Recommendations
- Local Aid to Cities and Towns
Building Stronger, Safer Communities through Positive Youth Development & Youth Violence Prevention
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FY 2014 Budget Recommendation:
Issues in Brief
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor
Building Stronger, Safer Communities through Positive Youth Development & Youth Violence Prevention
Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, the Patrick-Murray Administration continues to work to end youth violence and promote positive youth development by prioritizing funding for key programs and initiatives. On top of targeted law enforcement efforts, the Patrick-Murray Administration will maintain its two-pronged approach to create a culture of opportunity for our youth by addressing violence’s root causes, and providing services enabling youth to make positive choices that lead to productive lives. As positive youth development and youth violence prevention crosses many programs within state government, prioritizing agency collaboration, evaluating service outcomes, and identifying best practices will be a primary focus of the FY 2014 budget.
In the FY 2014 budget, Governor Patrick will continue to prioritize funding for positive youth development and youth violence prevention operating budget programs for a total investment of $125.2 M, an increase of $23 M over FY 2013 (as mapped by the program budget). Two innovative, data-driven strategies that incorporate strong performance management practices, informed measurement and collaborative design are central to this effort.
Paying for Outcomes with Social Innovation Financing
Unique to the Administration’s approach is the Youth Recidivism Project, using our first in the nation “pay-for-success” contract in Social Innovation Financing (SIF) to reduce youth recidivism. SIF is an innovative model which allows the state to leverage private investment to implement preventative solutions to chronic problems, only using taxpayer dollars once success has already been achieved.
The Youth Recidivism Project is motivated by the reality that within five years of release from the juvenile justice system, over 65 percent of high-risk males return to prison. This outcome is undesirable from a safety, security, and youth development perspective, and is extremely expensive for the Commonwealth. The goals of this project are to identify the highest-risk individuals exiting juvenile incarceration and probation and to intervene to ensure they go on to lead healthy and productive lives. Using the SIF model, the Commonwealth will ensure demonstrated positive outcomes and measurable state savings by shifting risk and the responsibility for performance to private investors and philanthropies.
In 2012, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced two partners for the SIF Youth Recidivism Project: Roca, Inc., a service provider in Chelsea, and Third Sector Capital Partners, a fundraising intermediary organization. Third Sector Capital has obtained $12 M in commitments from investors, pending due diligence, to capitalize a seven-year contract with Roca, who will service 900 to 1,200 high-risk youth in the Greater Springfield and Chelsea areas. These funds will be repaid in full by the Commonwealth only if Roca succeeds in meeting performance targets and generates savings in the criminal justice system. In this budget, $7.5 M will be put into the Social Innovation Fund to pay back investors in future years if targeted savings are achieved through prevention.
Safe and Successful Youth Initiative
The second cornerstone of the Administration’s FY 2014 positive youth development programming is the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI). Initiated in FY 2012, SSYI is a multi-layered and proven strategy for reducing youth violence in the Commonwealth. Working with coalitions in targeted communities, SSYI combines public health and public safety approaches to eliminate community violence and put youth on a pathway to success. The total program investment for FY 2014 is $10 M, a $6 M increase over FY 2013 spending levels.
SSYI similarly targets “proven risk youth,” young men (ages 14 to 24) identified by individual communities as high-risk individuals due to their criminal record, having been victim of shooting or stabbing violence, or being a family member of someone who has. The Patrick-Murray Administration has committed to further investment in the SSYI program to fill gaps in services for these high-risk populations. In 2013, grants have been awarded to 11 cities (including Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester) for targeted intervention programs for high-risk youth and their families. 1,338 young people have been initially identified for participation. By preserving these efforts in the FY 2014 budget, we will ensure the continuity of our successes.
The Administration continues to collaborate with local representatives including mayors, district attorneys, police, school officials and citizens from cities that experience persistently high rates of violent crime. Together, we are increasing coordination and collaboration between human services, education, and public safety agencies to build a sustainable and proactive solution to this systemic issue while saving taxpayer dollars. Moreover, SSYI acknowledges that “hurt people, hurt people,” and has accordingly made behavioral health services a critical element of its program model. SSYI grantees are required to complete a behavioral health assessment for all youth in their programs and implement structured behavioral health services tailored to the needs of young people.
The full and successful implementation of the SSYI model requires the following:
The SSYI team also measures its recent successes through the Youth Violence Prevention Dashboard. Created in 2012, the dashboard monitors and communicates summarized state-level data relating to young victims and perpetrators of homicide and serious violence. As of December 2012, the dashboard has recorded 33 homicide victims ages 14-24, statewide. This compares to 83 14-24 year-old homicide victims statewide in 2010, and 82 in 2011. While any loss of life in this age group is tragic – and the Administration considers it always preventable – given what we understand about the prevalence of violence amongst this population, these statistics suggest that SSYI and other targeted efforts of positive youth development services and programs in the Commonwealth are working.
Maintaining a Comprehensive Approach
The Patrick-Murray Administration understands that the issue of positive youth development and youth violence prevention is a complex problem necessitating a multifaceted solution. Beyond the Youth Recidivism Project and SSYI, the FY 2014 budget will continue to address this priority in three key areas:
1. Preventing and Reacting to Community Violence – A comprehensive youth violence prevention strategy must include effective law enforcement to protect the community from the most violent offenders, particularly those who use guns in gang-related violence and drug distribution. The Charles E. Shannon, Jr. Community Safety Initiative Grants prevent gang violence and are targeted at high-risk youth in communities with high crime rates. The Governor will level-fund these grants to FY 2013 at $6.25 M, which may be utilized by local police departments to bolster their ability to respond to youth crime as well as local community groups that provide supportive services for at-risk youth.
2. Building a More Peaceful Community – The long-term sustainability of a healthy and peaceful community requires a community-wide embrace of youth violence prevention strategies which are proven to restore peace. The Governor’s strategy taps into demonstrably effective methods of promoting peaceful environments, including building strong and engaged communities; providing structured, positive out-of-school time activities; and opportunities for youth leadership development. The Commonwealth will use its public health and education resources to ensure a coordinated approach to reach young people before they turn to violence or other destructive activities by continuing to invest in key areas. To this end, the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Youth-at-Risk matching grants and the Executive Office of Education’s (EOE) After School and Out of School Grants will be level-funded at $2.7 M and $1.4 M, respectively.
3. Encouraging Engaged Youth – Providing youth with increased opportunities to learn and grow will also build better communities. Youth who are engaged in educational activities or leadership development programs will likely have increased opportunities to build a healthy and safe future. Therefore, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) will increase its support to $10 M for summer jobs for at-risk youth in local communities and businesses as a way to offer subsidized work for at-risk youths. Further, the Executive Office of Education (EOE) will level-fund YouthBuild at $2 M and maintain its support for School to Career Connecting Activities by level-funding these programs to $2.9 M. YouthBuild specifically targets low-income students to improve education, job training, leadership development, and community services. School to Career Connecting Activities establishes public-private partnerships to connect schools and businesses and provide structured work-based learning experiences for students.
Governor’s Priorities in the Program Budget
For more information on the Governor’s positive youth development priority in program format, please visit www.mass.gov/budget/governor , the online version of the FY 2014 Governor’s Budget. Click on the Administration Priorities tab in the FY 2014 Program Budget Recommendations Quick Link. The tab will open to show a list of the four Governor’s priorities and the core set of programs that are critical in supporting the goals of each priority.
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