OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROJECT LONGEVITY INITIATIVE ON A STATE-WIDE BASIS.
This bill requires the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary to secure and use available federal and state funds and resources to (1) support the continued implementation of the “Project Longevity Initiative” in New Haven, (2) work with specified federal and state officials to implement the initiative in Hartford and Bridgeport, and (3) create a plan to implement the initiative statewide.
The initiative, launched in New Haven in 2012, is a comprehensive community-based initiative designed to reduce gun violence in Connecticut's cities (see BACKGROUND).
The bill also authorizes the secretary, with the governor's and attorney general's approval, to accept, hold, and use bequests, devices, or grants to further the objectives of Project Longevity.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013
PROJECT LONGEVITY INITIATIVE
Continued Implementation in New Haven
The bill requires the OPM secretary to:
1. provide planning and management assistance to municipal officials in New Haven to ensure the continued implementation of Project Longevity in that city and
2. do everything necessary to apply for and accept federal funds allotted to or available to the state under any federal act or program that supports the continued implementation of Project Longevity in New Haven.
The bill allows the secretary to use state and federal funds as appropriated for the continued implementation of the initiative in New Haven.
Implementation in Hartford, Bridgeport, and Statewide
The bill requires the secretary, or the secretary's designee, in consultation with certain federal and state officials, to (1) implement Project Longevity in Hartford and Bridgeport and (2) create a plan for implementing it statewide. These federal and state officials are:
1. the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut;
2. the chief state's attorney;
3. the correction commissioner;
4. the executive director of the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch;
5. the mayors of Hartford and Bridgeport; and
6. clergy members, nonprofit service providers, and community leaders from Hartford and Bridgeport.
Under the bill, the secretary is required to (1) provide the municipal officials in Hartford and Bridgeport with planning and management assistance and (2) secure available federal and state funds to implement Project Longevity in both cities, as is required for New Haven's continued implementation.
Acceptance and Use of Bequests, Devise, or Grants for Project Longevity
The bill authorizes the secretary, with the governor's and attorney general's approval, to (1) accept and receive any bequest, devise or grant made to the Office of Policy and Management to further the objectives of Project Longevity and (2) to hold and use such property for the purpose specified, if any, in the bequest, devise or gift.
Project Longevity – New Haven
The Project Longevity Initiative was launched in New Haven in 2012 as the beginning of a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut's major cities. It is based on the Group Violence Reduction Strategy developed by the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Project Longevity's strategy is based on the premise that violence can be reduced dramatically when community members and law enforcement join together to directly engage violent groups and clearly communicate to them:
1. a community message against violence,
2. a law enforcement message about the consequences of violence, and
3. an offer of help for those who want it.
To accomplish this, law enforcement, social service providers, and community members are recruited, assembled, and trained to engage in a sustained relationship with violent groups.