VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
(Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program)
This program was implemented in our community in 1998. Leaders from our community’s youth service providers sat down to discuss issues facing youth in our community. Each agreed that the issues of at-risk youth, juvenile delinquency and habitual offenders were community problems and that these problems could only be effectively addressed by a community based cooperative effort. This cooperative effort could only be effective if it were to include the schools, the prosecutor’s office, probation, police, juvenile courts, welfare and parole. To ensure success, the broader base of all agencies providing juvenile services would need to be included in this concept.
During a self-assessment phase, it was identified that the lack of timely information was one of the causes of ineffective action. During a study of the juvenile population, it was discovered that most students in trouble at school, either by academic or disciplinary standards, were also receiving attention from other non-school agencies. It was also noted that a strategy and a forum to address issues was missing from the system. It was further realized that the lack of resources in one area could be offset by other resources found in another area or agency. It came to light that effective suppression of serious habitual offenders could impact the total amount of juvenile delinquency because these habitual offenders were responsible for a disproportionate amount of juvenile crime.
The lack of timely information was easily recognized as a problem, however a perception that this information could not be legally shared was at issue. After research of the Indiana Juvenile Code and assistance form the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the United States Department of Justice, no legal barriers were found. To further the process, the Howard County Court judge issued a blanket order authorizing exchange of information. With the legal issues resolved, the chief executive officer of each agency met, resolved issues and signed a memorandum of commitment to inter-agency cooperation.
The S.H.O.C.A.P. program particularly identifies the community’s "worst of the worst" juvenile offenders. Strict supervision and control methods and strategies are then applied toward these offenders in an attempt to ensure public safety and also provide rehabilitation for these particular youth. This program has been very successful. It incorporates several other public agencies within the community. This community collaboration promotes cooperation, information sharing and a forum to discuss issues which relate to our community’s youth population. These forums have also initiated communication and cooperative efforts which have improved the way our community responds to domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, gang-related activity, truancy, educational incorrigibility and violence, as well as alcohol and drug prevention efforts within our community and particularly in our school systems. This particular component of our overall community strategy geared toward juveniles is complemented by the next program.
(School Administrators for Effective Public Operations Leading to Improved Children and Youth Services)
This program is another component of our community’s overall strategy geared toward improving the services provided to the youth of our community. This particular aspect of our philosophy on juvenile justice encompasses the identification of at-risk youth. It is our community’s contention that expending resources in this area will greatly enhance our community’s ability to reduce overall juvenile delinquency and curtail the number of serious habitual and violent juvenile offenders. This particular program works closely with the probation officers, school staff, school resource officers, the prosecutor’s office and Child Protective Services in an effort to identify at-risk youth and intervene early into their lives. This particular program had proven to be very successful, and again allows the cooperative efforts of several agencies as well as the school system in facilitating a community strategy predicated on prevention, intervention and control.
Week Without Violence Event
This is an annual event which enjoys the participation of many organizations throughout the city and county in an effort to deter violence. It includes programs we specifically teach in the schools and messages we deliver at the Police Athletic League games, as well as participation in candlelight vigils honoring domestic violence victims.
We teach this program in schools and it includes issues of respect and conflict resolution as well as decision making. This curriculum is also complemented by instruction on anti-gang, anti-drug, anti-alcohol and anti-violence lessons.
School Safety Patrol/Crossing Guard Corps
We provide student and adult safety programs and the use of crossing guards to serve as a visible deterrent to trouble and to report/intervene when trouble occurs.
Kokomo Police Department officers monitor students who have learning or reading disabilities in schooling. We also work with them on personal conduct and discipline issues through role modeling. This interaction also provides opportunities to broach such subjects as drugs and alcohol, violence and gangs as well as emotional discipline and conflict resolution.
Emotionally Handicapped Class Mentoring
The Kokomo police officers mentor emotionally handicapped children in the Kokomo schools, and work closely to provide badly needed personal attention and interaction for the students to help with behavioral and disciplinary disorders.
After School Event Security
Kokomo police officers work as uniform security during after-school activities such as ball games, dances, and other school related functions in order to curb violence and alcohol and drug use.
Kokomo School Staff Training
The Kokomo Police Department continues to provide teacher training during Teacher Institute Days in the areas of gang violence, drug abuse and current local drug trends.
Anti-Drug and D.U.I. Classes for Driver Education
The police department provides anti-drug and D.U.I. classes for all Kokomo-Center Driver Education classes designed to curb illegal and irresponsible drinking and driving.
KPD Directed Patrols of Bus Stops and Student Migration Areas
The police officers frequently patrol bus stops and locations where students travel to intervene in fights and other violent behavior.
Kokomo Police Department Cadet Program
This program is designed to promote leadership and responsible citizenship while promoting law enforcement career interests. An emphasis on laws, policy and leadership are promoted in the instructional phase.
Police Athletic League Program
This program combats youth crime and violence to provide positive alternatives and ways to spend quality time. It also promotes team building and inter-personal relationships with the rapport and interaction experienced through the youth and adult role model interaction. The PAL program has over 2,000 athletes involved in its various programs ranging from basketball and soccer to bowling.
This supplementary educational forum was created to relocate those students who find it difficult to learn in a traditional school setting. It also serves those students who are deemed disruptive, while at the same time providing them with an educational opportunity.
Conflict resolution classes have been taught at the Alternative School to reiterate conflict resolution methods and promote respectful behavior.
Teen Court is a part of the Mayor’s Council for the Prevention of Substance Abuse. This program provides accountability for youth for bad behavior and also involves their peers in judgment of behavior which includes minor crimes.
This is a pre-school head-start program wherein KPD officers teach basic issues of "good touch-bad touch" and other personal self-esteem issues designed to prevent molestation.
School Bus Enforcement Incentive
This is a partnership with the Kokomo Center Schools transortation department and KPD in which we receive direct referral from bus drivers on dangerous motorists, traffic violators and destructive behavior on the buses.
School Resource Officer Program
This program includes full-time Kokomo police officers assigned to our city’s elementary/middle schools as well as the high school. Officers are assigned to a particular school where they instruct D.A.R.E. and provide a liaison between the school staff and the students. Officers provide technical assistance on issues regarding school violence and other aspects of law enforcement. This program has been well received by both the police officers and the schools, students and parents. This program has been in effect for several years and is a vital component to our agency’s prevention and intervention efforts.
2. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.