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Rainier Beach Campus Safety Continuum: A Comprehensive Place Based Approach

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $3,834,667)

Statement of the Problem: This proposal, submitted in response to the National Institute of Justice FY 2016 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative solicitation, Category 1: Developing Knowledge about What Works to Make Schools Safe, is for the development of the Rainier Beach Campus Safety Continuum (RBCSC), a community-led, place-based, evidence-informed approach to addressing school and community safety and reducing racial disparity in school discipline and police contact in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University, in collaboration with the City of Seattle Office of City Auditor, Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Police Department, and a number of community partners, will develop the initiative over a four-year period that includes a 12-month planning phase, an 18-month training and implementation phase, and an 18-month stabilization and sustainability phase, and a rigorous quasi-experimental outcome evaluation with researcher support for process evaluation, community surveys, and implementation tracking throughout. Our project builds upon two existing local initiatives, Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth, a community-led place-based approach to addressing youth crime and victimization at hot spots, and Rainier Beach: Beautiful!, an application of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) that extends from the schools into community facilities and businesses. We seek to address several gaps in the research on what works to improve school climate and reduce disciplinary referrals within a framework of racial justice. One open question is whether PBIS can be successfully combined with school-based restorative justice (RJ) to increase student support and reduce racial disparity. Furthermore, could this integrated PBIS-RJ program also be extended into wider community and place-based approaches to change social norms and improve overall rates of youth crime and community safety? We suggest that school based PBIS-RJ could be extended to leverage community collective efficacy and informal social control, creating a continuum of positive support within and outside of school that focuses primarily on changing the way the adult-run institutions operate and regulate behavior in the interests of universal safety. The RBCSC represents an opportunity to develop this continuum in a highly diverse and high-need community in Seattle. We aim to build capacity for community safety, expand the evidence-base for PBIS to consider its integration into the wider community and contribute much-needed research to the emerging literature on the impact of school-based RJ, and continue efforts to eliminate racial disparity in school discipline and juvenile justice processing. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 14, 2016