Baton Rouge, La – July 14, 2023 – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the Community Safety Planning Lab, an innovative two-day workshop dedicated to tackling the pressing issue of gun violence in our community. By fostering collaboration between local government and community stakeholders, this comprehensive initiative aims to address the root causes of violence. The Community Safety Planning Lab is supported by Healthy BR, SafeBR, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and The Bridge Center for Hope.
WHEN: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 18th, and Wednesday, July 19
WHERE: Downtown River Center Branch Library, 4th Floor
REGISTER: Participants will be provided with lunch during the workshop sessions. Interested participants can secure their spots by visiting shhbrplanninglab.eventbrite.com.
WHAT: The Community Safety Planning Lab is a platform for institutional stakeholders to connect with community organizations and expand the community-led aspect of the EBR Gun Violence Collaborative.
The primary objective is to facilitate actionable strategies that enable community stakeholders and municipal government to effectively combat violence in our neighborhoods.
Through interactive sessions, panel discussions, and collaborative exercises, the Community Safety Planning Lab will encourage participants to share their experiences, perspectives, and existing public safety plans and resources in Baton Rouge. This inclusive environment aims to foster mutual learning and cultivate a collective understanding of effective community-driven solutions to violence.
Key Focus Areas:
- Prioritizing Community-Led Strategies for Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Reshaping Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems
- Enhancing Public Safety Through Environmental Design
- Transforming and Healing Communities
- Strengthening Education and Workforce Opportunities
- Bolstering Individual and Family Support
Participants will have a unique opportunity to plan with and get feedback from influential leaders and experts actively involved in addressing violence nationwide. Notable national partners, including the Community Based Public Safety Collective, Cities United, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Equal Justice USA, Health Resources in Action, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice Action Fund, will provide valuable insights and remarks either virtually or in person.
To ensure a diverse range of perspectives, the workshop invites individuals and organizations involved in community development, public safety, social justice, and related fields to register for this important event.
Roadmap to a Safe Hopeful Healthy BR:
The Roadmap to a Safe Hopeful Healthy BR outlines the following objectives:
- Identify intersecting goals to address violence by reducing risk factors and enhancing resilience/protective factors within the community.
- Improve collaboration and alignment across sectors committed to violence prevention.
- Leverage and blend resources from various organizations and sectors, including public resources. Potential funding sources include designated city resources, agency and department contributions, business sector and philanthropic contributions, county, state, and federal appropriations, private contributions, and the establishment of local taxes or fees.
- Analyze existing and pending policies at the federal, state, and local levels that are relevant to the Blueprint's goals.
Mayor Broome expressed her confidence in the power of community empowerment and strong partnerships to drive significant progress in combating violence. "Baton Rouge has all the necessary resources to address violence — committed organizations, passionate individuals, and a wealth of expertise. However, what we lack is a unified approach that harnesses these resources in a coordinated manner. Today, we aim to bridge that gap. The Community Safety Planning Lab provides a unique platform that brings together diverse stakeholders to collectively develop strategies that prioritize community well-being and safety," she said.
Following the workshop, the City-Parish will embark on a 45-day community planning process to outline goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes as part of a unified approach across the parish. This roadmap will guide the development, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability of the community-led portion of East Baton Rouge's comprehensive public safety plan.
- A 90-day aggressive process leveraging existing stakeholder plans and soliciting broad community engagement.
- Prioritizing the involvement of often-overlooked individuals and groups, including diverse community leaders and residents, with a specific emphasis on engaging youth.
- Focus on preventing violence before it occurs and intervening effectively after incidents to reduce impact and prevent future victimization.
- Separate but complementary to the criminal justice system's enforcement, diversion, and reentry strategies.
- Capitalize on local assets and resources while incorporating national best practices.
- Utilize an adaptive, developmental evaluation approach that supports program and policy innovation, facilitates real-time feedback, and incorporates participatory evaluation methods, particularly at the neighborhood level.