202forPeace is a city-wide gun violence awareness campaign designed to:
- Raise awareness about the services and supports available to District residents who are vulnerable to violence or violent activity
- Increase community buy-in with messaging and activities targeted to keeping our youth safe
- Share survivor stories and experiences to humanize violence and challenge our community values toward a shared and common vision of peace
The Public Safety and Justice system includes strategies to prevent crime whenever possible, provide enforcement when laws are broken and offer effective rehabilitative services for incarcerated residents. 202 for Peace is a grass roots collaborative effort of agencies across the District to build community-based support to PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE and other violent crime through an awareness movement including education events, service projects and activities, and community re-engagement. Residents are encouraged to get involved with the movement through volunteerism, community service, or posting in the Virtual Memorial.
DC Gun Violence Reduction Plan
Mayor Bowser’s plan to make our city safer and stronger was launched in 2016 following the implementation of the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act, providing federal resources to use public health approaches to prevent violence and reduce incarceration. A summary of the strategies in the plan include:
- Establishment of a neighborhood safety and engagement office
- Community crime prevention teams
- Establishment of a victims’ services agency
- Implementation of a private security camera incentive program
- Establishment of a homicide reduction task force within MPD
- Stop and frisk and crime data collection, and
- Officer retention and recruitment
Since the community devastation and depletion of resources related to COVID-19, the District has increased resources and accelerated crime reduction and prevention planning to include a comprehensive set of strategies to address the surge in gun violence and other violent crime in our communities that has presented in urban cities across the country. Below is a summary of the plan to address and prevent gun violence.
The Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) Mayor Bowser’s fiscal year 2022 and 2023 budgets provide significantly increased resources for violence prevention services, including expansion and increased ONSE services. The office was created in 2017 to foster community-based strategies to help prevent violence and increase public safety. ONSE’s mission is rooted in a public health approach to violence prevention, recognizing that reducing crime will not be accomplished through law enforcement alone. Some of their services include:
- Pathways Program—providing employment services to vulnerable 20-35-year-old District residents.
- Violence Interrupter Program—ONSE builds trust through resident and community-based engagement to reduce violence by establishing a strong presence within communities with a high prevalence of violence. Through increased investments in prevention services last year, this summer ONSE will significantly expand the number of Violence Interrupters and other frontline level violence intervention workers from 30 to 80.
- School Based Initiative—The ONSE Leadership Academy (OLA) is a school-based initiative launched as a pilot in the fall of 2019 in partnership with Anacostia High School and the Department of Employment Services. The program now operates in Anacostia Sr. High, HD Woodson Sr. High and Paul Public Charter schools to provide support to students with attendance, behavior, and academic challenges. Next year the program will expand to provide service-delivery to Kelly Miller and Kramer Middle Schools as well.
- People of Promise—The People of Promise initiative targets approximately 200 residents who have been identified by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) as being at highest risk of involvement in gun violence in the District. Each person has been assigned a multidisciplinary team to include a Credible Contact, a Pathfinder, and a member of Mayor Bowser’s cabinet to build trusting relationships with them to learn more about risk level, stage of readiness, and service needs.
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention manages the implementation of the Building Blocks initiative, which focuses its strategy on the people and places with the highest incidents of gun violence.