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WHEREAS, young people in Massachusetts are being killed or injured as a result of gun- or gang-related violence at an alarming rate in communities across the Commonwealth;
WHEREAS, these acts of violence cause widespread trauma, fear and stress in our families, communities and schools; WHEREAS, there were 171 homicides in the Commonwealth in 2009 and 74 of those victims were under age 24;
WHEREAS, senseless violence in the Commonwealth is not only a public safety concern, but a public health concern which is treatable and preventable;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to addressing youth violence by utilizing a public health approach, providing a full continuum of services including trauma informed case management, intensive supervision, education, health care, job training and employment;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, hereby order as follows:
Section 1. This Executive Order shall apply to all state agencies in the Executive Branch. As used in this Order, "state agencies" shall include all executive offices, boards, commissions, agencies, departments, divisions, councils, bureaus, and offices, now existing and hereafter established.
Section 2. It shall be the policy of the Executive Branch to coordinate efforts to prevent youth violence by focusing our coordinated intervention efforts on young persons identified as being the highest risk for engaging in violence and connecting those most at risk with services that offer them a way out and a way to build lives as prodlrctive citizens in the Commonwealth.
Section 3. Led by the Assistant Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for Children, Youth and Families, with the support of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Assistant Secretary shall administer a coordinated emergency intervention program ("the Program") to prevent youth violence using public health methods to achieve public safety.
Section 4. The Program shall focus on young men ages fourteen to twenty-four identified as the highest risk of being perpetrators or victims of gun or stabbing violence.
Section 5. The Program shall initially be deployed in communities with the highest number of youth homicides and serious assaults allowing the flexibility necessary to meet different challenges in different communities. Each designated community shall customize the program with the overarching goal of providing opportunities, access to jobs, health care and educational opportunities for the highrisk population.
Section 6. The Program shall provide coordination and, where appropriate and feasible, direct state support for community specific action plans to reduce violence. State officials will work with mayors, district attorneys, police chiefs, local officials, faith leaders and community organizations to implement community action plans, oversee grant funding and manage program execution.
Section 7. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 11th day of May in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-five.
DEVAL L. PATRICK
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth