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Violence Reduction Clearinghouse – Online Shopping for Crimefighting Resources
By: Violence Reduction Network Team, U.S. Department of Justice
The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) team is excited to share an innovative tool designed to help you and other criminal justice professionals in your fight against violent crime.
What Is It?
The Violence Reduction Clearinghouse is an interactive, online tool that shares hundreds of violence reduction-related resources, available from the different U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) components, in a streamlined process that is easy to navigate and customize based on the unique local demands. The clearinghouse was created as a mechanism to share lessons learned from the Violence Reduction Network and available DOJ crimefighting resources with other jurisdictions nationwide. The clearinghouse offers evidence-based programs and practices, training, technical assistance, publications, and more for users to build a customized toolkit of violence reduction resources that can be saved, downloaded, and shared with others.
Every City and Every Situation Is Unique and Benefits from Custom Solutions
The Violence Reduction Clearinghouse is designed for users to build a custom toolkit of resources based on what each user is looking for. For example, your agency might be interested in gang training for line officers or for prosecutors. The clearinghouse enables you to filter the resources and provides you with just that information, excluding resources that are not applicable to your needs. Or, perhaps your agency is looking for resources and successful programs to tackle the witness intimidation “no snitching” culture. Maybe your community (like many others) struggles with getting witnesses or victims to come forward and share information that would be pertinent to investigating and prosecuting violent crimes. In the clearinghouse, you will find promising strategies and programs to successfully address witness intimidation, as well as publications, webinars, training, and more – all available to you in one location – to select, download, and share.
The clearinghouse offers an opportunity to design a variety of toolkits to help you address criminal justice issues in your community. These customized toolkits could look similar to the following examples we generated using the clearinghouse’s resources:
- Building Trust: Provides a selection of resources with recommended strategies to build trust and increase community engagement.
- Crime Analysis: Contains resources to help your agency stand up a crime analysis unit or identify resources to enhance your current analytic capacity.
- Gun Violence: Offers a variety of tools to help your agency work with your community to reduce firearm-related crimes or improve ballistics processing.
- Homicide Investigations: Identifies vetted information and lessons learned that pertain to homicide investigation management.
- Officer Safety/Wellness: Presents information on available, no-cost officer safety training that your police chief or sheriff may have requested you to identify.
- Social Media: Contains resources that enable your agency to conduct research related to law enforcement’s use of social media for community engagement or investigative activities.
How It Works
We know what you may be thinking: Another online library? How is this different? The unique part of the clearinghouse is that it includes violence reduction resources from across DOJ, not just one agency, so you can truly utilize the clearinghouse for “one-stop shopping.” The clearinghouse is organized into 18 broad topic areas (including community policing, crime analysis, gang violence, homicide, prosecution, and technology), each with filtering questions and types of resources to help you hone in on exactly what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for resources related to youth violence, in the “Justice-Involved Youth” topic, you can select a focus area (intervention and prevention, reentry, risk factors, or youth in gangs), select a discipline (law enforcement, prosecution, or corrections), and select a type of resource (default provides all types) to produce your customized result set. Similar to online shopping, once you decide which resources you want to save, simply click on the “+” (“plus”) button on each resource to add it to your toolkit. When you are done “shopping,” the “View Toolkit” button will take you to your toolkit page (i.e., your shopping cart), where you can save your toolkit and download the resources in a .zip file. Once you have saved your toolkit, a link will be e-mailed to you that can be visited later or shared with others.
We invite you to give the clearinghouse a test drive and build your own toolkit today. Please let us know about additional recommended resources for inclusion in the clearinghouse. To access the clearinghouse, go to https://vrnetwork.org/clearinghouse/.
Created by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Violence Reduction Network is a partnership between federal and local law enforcement and prosecutorial leaders designed to leverage existing DOJ resources to deliver strategic training and technical assistance (TTA) to communities seeking to reduce violent crime. Working with partners across DOJ, VRN offers customized TTA, strategic site liaisons, and information-sharing tools, and also hosts an annual VRN Summit for representatives from the member sites. This consortium of cities builds on existing collaborative efforts and leverages lessons learned and best practices to create safer communities across the United States.
If your jurisdiction is in need of training or technical assistance to address a violent crime issue or if you know of a community that would benefit from these types of violent crime resources, please contact BJA NTTAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in submitting the work of your organization or jurisdiction for consideration to be featured in a future TTA Today blog post or in obtaining information related to a particular topic area, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Points of view or opinions on BJA NTTAC’s TTA Today blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice, BJA, or BJA NTTAC.