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The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has received a $737,000 three-year federal grant to address youth gang and gun violence. The Walter Rand Institute is proud to be a central partner to the work. Funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will support CC-THRIVE (Cumberland County To Help Reverse Inequality & Violence Everywhere) — a cross-sector effort to promote positive youth development and reduce youth violence in the county’s major urban centers.

Focused on Vineland, Bridgeton, and Millville, the initiative will bring together law enforcement; schools; parents; youth; elected officials; courts and probation; juvenile parole; child protection; representatives from health, housing, welfare, workforce development, and human services departments; mental and behavioral health and drug and alcohol providers; youth service organizations; and faith-leaders, to plan for and build a more peaceful future.

CC-Thrive will engage in a strategic planning process, facilitated by WRI, toward implementing promising practices to reduce and prevent gang and gun violence among 10 to 25 year olds. The initiative will train school district and law enforcement personnel in trauma informed practices and implicit bias to build trusting and positive relationships for youth at school and with police.

As it stands today, Cumberland County is the poorest and least educated in New Jersey. It consistently scores low or last on crime, health, and child welfare rankings in the state. The homicide rate is 54% higher than the national average and the county is a center of gang activity in the region.

WRI looks forward to working hard in partnership with all to build a path for Cumberland to thrive.