2008 MetLife Awards: Collaborating to prevent and reduce youth gang involvement

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
February 2009
The Miami Partnership for Action in Communities Task Force is a community-wide collaborative effort created by the Miami-Dade County Schools Police Department (M-DCSPD). The collaborative partnership between the School District, local law enforcement, juvenile justice system, community based organizations, service agencies, plus local businesses and the community at large, strives to ensure that all students are provided the opportunity to learn in a safe, secure and supportive environment. MPACT targets "at-risk" youth between the ages of 12-22 who drop out, enter the criminal justice system or demonstrate gang affiliation. The program is designed to benefit the youth, the family, and the community through case management, life-skills training, and job skills programs, thus giving students "hope" for a future. Unlike other similar youth intervention programs, MPACT's strategy includes providing youth with training and jobs in construction of affordable homes and community facilities through a local community development corporation. By fostering positive life choices, MPACT demonstrates that when youth are given opportunities to become productive citizens, they are less likely to engage in criminality. This program exemplifies a successful community-wide collaborative effort that benefits at-risk youth and their families, while creating a positive long-lasting effect on their school, neighborhood and surrounding community.
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