Criminal Justice Department receives $30,000 through newly-created KC No Violence Alliance

Kharissa Forte

Mayor Sly James, Police Chief Darryl Forte and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced KC NoVA to the public on Tuesday, May 15. As part of the program, UMKC’s Criminal Justice Department will receive a $30,000 grant.

An abbreviation for the KC No Violence Alliance, the new initiative is modeled after programs in other cities, including Minneapolis and Boston.

It focuses on removing repeat offenders form the streets and preventing recidivism by giving them a chance to opt out of the dangerous lifestyle through services that focus on education, job training, and health care.

“It’s kind of like cutting a tumor,” James said.

A high violent crime rate has plagued the city for years. Forte noted that since 1970, there have only been nine years with fewer than 100 homicides.

Funding for the project, including the UMKC grant, came in the form of a $74,000 grant provided by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation).

Program officer Micah Kubic, is responsible for putting the grant together. According to Peters Baker, the grant will get the project up and running earlier than expected. A portion of the grant will be used to hire a project manager.

Concerning how the KCPD will aid in KC NoVA, Forte stated, “They’ll play a key role in not only evaluating KC NoVA projects, but also helping us collect data in order to create the right computer profiles of criminals. That way we know we’re targeting the right people for the right reasons.”

Ken Novak, associate professor and Chair of the Criminal Justice Department will spearhead UMKC’s part of the project and will oversee its evaluation.

 

Disclaimer: Police Chief Darryl Forte is a relative of staff writer Kharissa Forte.

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