BRIDGETON — The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking proposals for two summer programs that aim to combat gang and gun violence in the county.
The Credible Messenger and Intensive Reentry Case Management programs are both part of the Cumberland Collective to Help Reverse Inequality and Violence Everywhere, or CC THRIVE. The initiative will run from June through September in Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland, according to a news release from the Prosecutor’s Office.
“We’re super excited to be making solicitations for these programs,” Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said. “Everyone has worked really hard to come up with strategies that will reduce gang involvement and gun violence among our young people. It feels good to be moving along to the implementation stage for this very important project.”
CC THRIVE came after the county received a nearly $740,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency’s Safe and Thriving Communities program in 2017 to combat gang and gun violence and its impact on youth in Vineland, Millville and Bridgeton.
Violent crime in the county was down almost 28% from January through November 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, according to the State Police Uniform Crime Report.
The Credible Messenger Program is aimed at youth and young adults to reduce gang involvement and gun violence, according to the release. Community representatives will help prevent violence by guiding youth to change behaviors through mentoring, and support at-risk youth who want educational and other support services like employment, drug and alcohol counseling and mental health services.
The contract is worth $197,310, with the provider responsible for implementing the Credible Messenger model, training messenger and outreach workers, organizing community events, responding to gang and gun violence and creating an educational campaign to promote nonviolent response strategies.
The Intensive Reentry Case Management Program helps prepare individuals to return home after incarceration and improve reintegration services, according to the release.
The contract is worth $86,166, and the provider is responsible for a reentry stakeholder meeting, collaborating with the state Department of Corrections, intake meetings, reentry planning and follow-up meetings with young offenders, with the goal of reduced recidivism and increased services to returning young adult offenders.
“We hope to get a number of creative, result-driven applications for these important programs,” Webb-McRae said. “Any reduction of gang and gun violence will be a win for Cumberland County.”
A non-mandatory bidder’s conference is slated for Friday, and proposals are due by 2 p.m. May 1.
For more information, visit cumberland procure.org/index.php.