Schwarzenegger to fund gang prevention program in Santa Ana

Santa Ana will be receiving significant funds from the State of California, for gang prevention programs, according to inside sources.

I am told that Santa Ana consultant Chris Townsend was able to successfuly negotiate with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office to bring these funds to a city that has seen a veritable eruption of gang violence this year.

Here is what the San Francisco Sentinel is reporting about this new initiative:

“Governor Schwarzenegger today proposed an anti-gang initiative to fight gang violence in California . The California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) will target more than $48 million in state and federal funding toward local anti-gang efforts, including job training, education and intervention programs, and will give law enforcement the tools to closely track gang leaders both inside state prisons and when they are released on parole. CalGRIP combines funding from different programs and directs them toward intervention, suppression and prevention. The Governor is also appointing a statewide gang coordinator, to coordinate all state programs and funding for anti-gang activities with local and federal agencies. “

This is great news for Santa Ana! Many local activists have been pleading for more gang prevention programs for some time now. Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez was instrumental in the formation of the city’s EPIC Commission, which is dedicated to gang prevention. I am sure she is very excited about the new CalGRIP program.

Townsend appears to be paying big dividends for the city. He also helped to get funding for the renovations at Eddie West Stadium. Ironically, Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez, who recently helped to find money for new gang enforcement police officers, has been sideways with Townsend for some time. Perhaps she will appreciate his efforts now.

The CalGRIP program is huge and very complicated. I recommend that you check out the Governor’s Anti-Gang website to find out more about it.

Here is my favorite part of the program:

CalGRIP Keeps At-Risk Kids Out of Gangs

  • Gives 5,000 kids a safer summer. CalGRIP will help 5,000 young people attend summer programs in 2008 that keep them off the streets. Under the plan, $2 million will be allocated to eligible HIGA counties to expand summer programs in collaboration with community organizations.
  • Funds juvenile justice programs. CalGRIP redirects $1.1 million in uncommitted, discretionary Juvenile Accountability Block Grants for programs targeting at-risk youth. Under the plan, local programs will match state funds at 25%, for a $1.375 million total impact.
  • Gets youth into job training. CalGRIP sets aside 200 slots in California Conservation Corps summer programs for gang-involved young adults.
  • Helps young people leave gangs. CalGRIP expands an existing CDCR pilot program for incarcerated youth who are trying to leave gangs. It increases the number of young people participating in the program from 280 youth to 455 and funds two new 10-bed facilities. ($820,000 from the State Penalty Fund).
  • Protects kids from gang violence at school. CalGRIP provides $9 million in ongoing funding to HIGA county offices of education to hire approximately 120 additional school resource officers. Under the plan, counties must provide a 25% local match.

Thank you Governor Schwarzenegger for looking out for Santa Ana!

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.