The Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) was passed by the Illinois legislature in June 2021 and amended in November 2021 (430 ILCS 69/35). It established a new Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP) within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and directed the OFVP to take a public health approach to firearm violence prevention. Pursuant to that act, the OFVP shall issue an annual report to the General Assembly, to include:
- Identifying Illinois municipalities and Chicago community areas with the highest concentration of firearm violence,
- Explaining the investments that are being made; and
- Making recommendations on how to end the firearm violence epidemic.
This report covers activities of IDHS and the OFVP from June 2021 through December 31, 2021.
Selection of OFVP Eligible Areas
After consideration of the requirements of RPSA and available data sources, the Firearm Violence Research Group (FVRG) developed a process for recommending eligibility criteria for community areas in Chicago and municipalities in Illinois per the requirements of the Act. The FVRG applied this process to determine the Chicago Community Areas that rate highest in firearm victimization, excluding self-inflicted shots. The eligible Chicago Community Areas include:
- Auburn Gresham
- Chicago Lawn
- East Garfield Park
- Fuller Park
- Greater Grand Crossing
- Humboldt Park
- New City
- North Lawndale
- South Chicago
- South Lawndale
- South Shore
- Washington Park
- West Englewood
- West Garfield Park
- West Pullman
The FVRG used a similar process for determining the eligible municipalities across Illinois with the highest rates of firearm victimization in populations less than 1,000,000 people.
The eligible municipalities with less than 1,000,000 residents include:
- Belleville Cluster (Includes Belleville, East St. Louis, and Cahokia Heights)
- Berwyn-Cicero Cluster
- Calumet City Cluster (Includes Calumet City, Harvey, Dolton, Riverdale, South Holland, Markham, Lansing)
- Chicago Heights Cluster (Includes Chicago Heights, Park Forest, and Sauk Village)
- Maywood-Bellwood Cluster
- Urbana-Champaign Cluster
- Waukegan-North Chicago Cluster
IDHS Investments and Activities
On October 18, 2021, Governor Pritzker appointed Christopher Patterson as Assistant Secretary of Firearm Violence Prevention to lead the OFVP. Since its establishment, the OFVP has been working to build its staffing structure and office support system. To support the office and the FVRG, DHS engaged the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) to facilitate and manage the academic research needs of the OFVP.
IDHS and the OFVP have the grant making, operational and procurement authority to distribute funds to implement the functions established in the Act. For the Chicago community areas, two training and technical assistance notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) were released in December 2021. Four additional NOFOs are anticipated to be released in early 2022 to provide coordination and direct services in Chicago. For municipalities outside of Chicago, the OFVP will be establishing Local Advisory Councils (LAC) to provide recommendations on how to best support their respective community areas in curbing firearm violence through asset mapping of existing services within the community and the review of data trends related to firearm incidents.
To further violence prevention efforts, the OFVP has collaborated with state and local entities including IDHS Office of Community and Positive Youth Development, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) and other government municipalities (I.e., Cook County, city of Chicago). In addition, the OFVP is participating in listening sessions/panel discussions across the state to provide a more regional introduction to the goals of the OFVP and to introduce current funding opportunities. For organizations interested in applying for funding, several technical assistance options have been made available for those seeking support with the application process.
Upcoming priorities for the OFVP include:
- Continuing to introduce the office to key partners and those with shared interests to promote public safety,
- Building additional staffing structure and formal support for the office,
- Finalizing and awarding selected providers for current and soon to be released grant opportunities, and
- Establishing Chicago-based Community Conveners and Illinois municipality Local Advisory Councils to inform OFVP community-based strategies and ensure successful funding allocation.
I. Introduction and Background
Firearm violence has deeply harmed neighborhoods, communities, and the entire State of Illinois, both through the immediate loss of life and the long-term harmful effects of trauma experienced by victims, witnesses, and community residents.
To address the firearm violence crisis, the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) was passed by the Illinois legislature in June 2021 and amended in November 2021 (430 ILCS 69/35). It established a new Office of Firearms Violence Prevention (OFVP) within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and directed the OFVP to take a public health approach to firearms violence prevention. Pursuant to that act, the OFVP shall issue an annual report to the General Assembly, to include:
- Identifying Illinois municipalities and Chicago community areas (Geographic Target Areas) with the highest concentration of firearm violence,
- Explaining the investments that are being made (IDHS Investments and Activities), and
- Making recommendations on how to end the firearm violence epidemic (OFVP Recommendations and Timeline).
This report covers activities of IDHS and the OFVP from June 2021 through December 31, 2021. As this report will be the first for this office, it is important to acknowledge the purpose of the RPSA which enabled it, as well as the specific provisions of the Act. The intent of the RPSA is as follows:
"This Act creates a comprehensive approach to ending Illinois' firearm violence epidemic. Furthermore, the Act is intended to reduce significant gaps in Illinois' mental health treatment system for youth, young adults, and families that live in areas with chronic exposure to firearm violence and exhibit mental health conditions associated with chronic and ongoing trauma." (Section 35-5)
The RPSA provisions are summarized in the sections that follow.
A. Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP) (Section 35-20).
RPSA directs IDHS to create the OFVP by October 1, 2021 and provides for the Governor to appoint an Assistant Secretary for Firearms Violence Prevention. The Act gives OFVP the authority to make grants to Violence Prevention, Youth Development and High-Risk Youth Intervention Organizations in eligible neighborhoods, as outlined below. RPSA also provides that the OFVP facilitate the coordination and efficacy of services by naming Lead Violence Prevention Conveners, Local Advisory Councils, and Training, Technical Assistance and Support providers.
This section directs OFVP to identify neighborhoods in cities of 1,000,000 or more with highest rates of firearm-shot victimization and defines the measures to be used in that process. RPSA also requires OFVP to identify municipalities or contiguous geographic areas with population between 35,000 and 1,000,000 that have the highest rates of firearm-shot victimization and defines the measures to be used in that process.
1. Services for Municipalities with more than 1,000,000 residents
Integrated Violence Prevention and Other Services (Section 35-25).
Violence Prevention Organizations will be located within the Chicago communities with the highest levels of firearm violence and will provide evidenced-based violence prevention services, including but not limited to street outreach, case management and victim advocacy.
Integrated Youth Services (Section 35-30).
Integrated Youth Services (Youth Development) Organizations will be located within Chicago communities with the highest levels of firearm violence and will provide youth evidence-based after-school and summer programming. Evidence-based youth development programs shall provide services to teens that increase their school attendance, school performance, reduce involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and develop nonacademic interests that build social emotional persistence and intelligence. Youth development organizations will prioritize services for youth residing in the municipal blocks where more than 35% of all fatal and nonfatal firearm-shot incidents take place.
Intensive Youth Interventions Services (Section 35-35).
High-risk Youth Intervention Organizations will provide evidence-based intervention services that reduce involvement in the criminal and juvenile justice system, increase school attendance and refer high-risk teens into therapeutic programs that address trauma recovery and other mental health improvement.
OFVP will support the work of these organizations by providing grants to Training, Technical Assistance Providers and to a Lead Violence Prevention Convener in each eligible Chicago community area.
2. Services for Municipalities with less than 1,000,000 residents (Section 35-40)
OFVP shall identify ten areas with greatest rate of fatal and nonfatal firearm-shot victims (excluding self-inflicted) over five-year period from 2016-2020 from those municipalities with greater than 35,000 and less than 1 million population. OFVP may select up to an additional five areas of any population size and specify those factors involved in making the selection.
OFVP will appoint and engage Local Advisory Councils (LACs - to be constituted by the OFVP) in each of these areas to develop a formula to distribute resources to these areas in a way that maximizes the potential reduction in firearms violence. Based on LAC recommendations, grants will be made to community-based organizations or local governments by April 1, 2022.
B. Department of Healthcare and Family Services
Medicaid Trauma Recovery for Adults (Section 35-50)
On or before January 15, 2022, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall design and seek approval from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to implement a team-based model of care system to address trauma recovery from chronic exposure to firearm violence for Illinois adults. Services under this proposed model of care under Medicaid will include outreach, case management and community support, group, and individual mental health therapy. HFS will develop a reimbursement methodology within the Medicaid system to engage providers in this care.
Medicaid Trauma Recovery Services for Children and Youth (Section 35-55)
On or before January 15, 2022, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall design and seek approval from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to implement a team-based model of care system to address trauma recovery from chronic exposure to firearm violence for Illinois youth under age 19. Services covered by Medicaid will include outreach, case management and community services to reduce truancy and criminal justice involvement, group and individual mental health therapy, and evidence-based family systems intervention. HFS will develop a reimbursement methodology within the Medicaid system to engage providers in this care.
II. Rationale for Selection of Geographical Community Areas
A. Firearm Violence Research Group
Shortly after the RPSA was passed in June, and with input from advocates and experts in the field of violence prevention, data, and research, IDHS staff generated a list of recommended research experts to form the Firearm Violence Research Group (FVRG) to advise the OFVP. The most immediate research need for the OFVP was to create a working definition for "firearm-shot incidents" and to identify the geographic areas eligible for program funding and technical assistance support as per the specific guidelines of the RPSA:
- Determine the 17 Chicago Community Areas with the highest number of per capita firearm-shot incidents from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020, excluding self-inflicted firearm-shot incidents.
- Identify municipal blocks where more than 35% of all firearm-shot incidents take place (excluding self-inflicted firearm-shot incidents). Youth Development Grants will focus on these blocks in the identified 17 neighborhoods.
- For municipalities with less than 1 million in population, identify the 10 municipalities or geographically contiguous areas (that have the greatest concentrated firearm violence victims as measured by the number of firearm-shot incidents from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2020 divided by the number of residents for each municipality or area.
As IDHS convened this research group, it looked to have a joint representation of scholars from across various institutional organizations both statewide and in Chicago. Outreach to individuals was made in July 2021 by IDHS Secretary Hou, and the first meeting was held in late August. The initial members included:
- Joe Hoereth, Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois Chicago.
- Tammy Kochel, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Southern Illinois University
- Daryl Kroner, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Southern Illinois University
- Timothy Lavery, Associate Director Research and Analysis Unit, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
- Soledad McGrath, Executive Director, Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative, Research Professor, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
- David Olson, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Co-director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice, Loyola University Chicago
- Andrew Papachristos, Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University
- Kimberley Smith, Director of Programs, Crime & Education Labs, University of Chicago
The group met bi-monthly via web-ex between August and November 2021 on the following dates: August 31, September 14, September 21, September 28, October 5, and October 26. Over the course of these meetings, group discussions centered on interpreting the act, potential approaches to selecting the areas, and sources of data.
The group identified several modifications to the statutory language to improve the ability to identify areas with the most concentrated firearm violence. The group proposed such amendments, which were adopted by the Illinois General Assembly on November 1, 2021. Following adoption of these changes, the research group confirmed consensus recommendations on the process for selecting the area of concentrated firearm violence based on the act as amended and the data sources to be used in that process.
These recommendations were made with the recognition that the RPSA allows, if funding permits, for the selection of up to five additional community areas using the same criteria, to cluster contiguous areas where appropriate, and to select up to five more areas in the state to be eligible with the intent to maximize the impact of funding on violence prevention in Illinois.
Moving forward, the FVRG will become a formal advisory board as consistent with other official advisory bodies for the State. Bylaws may be developed stipulating criteria for membership, commitment terms and roles, and the duration of tenure. Future meetings of the FVRG will be subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act with meetings open for public viewing; meeting schedules and agendas posted publicly with at least 48-hour notice in addition to recorded minutes; allowance for public comment; and other requirements of the Act. Current members of the FVRG will be invited to renew their commitment under these new requirements, as well as any new members appointed in the future.
B. Selection Process and Data Sources
The first task for the FVRG was to develop a process for determining eligible community areas that best met the requirements and the intent of the Act. Inherent in that task was deciding on a statistical approach to the analysis with consideration given to existing sources of data that would best serve the selected process. The research group felt that including both injuries and deaths caused by firearms was consistent with the intent of the Act and the most accurate way to identify which communities experienced the most firearm violence. The process for each geography is outlined below, as well as a discussion of potential data sources.
1. Selection Process
Chicago Community Areas (Municipality with greater than 1,000,000 population)
The FVRG first considered the simplest approach to identifying the initial 17 community areas, which would be to rank the 77 community areas on per capita victimization 2016-2022 alone, as shown in Appendix 1, then just select the top 17. While this approach is simple and straightforward, it highlights the underlying inconsistent geography of the community areas. The geographic size and population density of the 77 community areas varies greatly, resulting in some having extremely large populations, while others have extremely small populations. This variation in population size means that a very small community area with a relatively small number of firearms victims could be ranked much higher than larger areas with many more victims during the same period. Some community areas with the highest number of shootings would not be selected if per capita was the only ranking factor.
Ultimately, blending the approach of ranking community areas by a per capita rate for selection of the first ten community areas, along with a ranking of the remaining community areas by absolute or "raw" number of victims for selection of the next seven community areas was selected as a compromise. With this blended approach, some of the smaller community areas with high victimization rates still made the list such as Fuller Park and Riverdale, while also ensuring that larger population community areas such as Austin and South Lawndale were also included. The FVRG endorsed this blended approach and the OFVP continued that approach when it selected the next five community areas with the highest per capita rate of victimization bringing the total to 22. Accounting for more than 75% of firearm shot victims in the city within the period analyzed, these 22 community areas represent a strong majority of the areas with the greatest concentration of firearm violence in Chicago.
Municipalities under 1,000,000 in Population
The FVRG arrived at a method for identifying eligible municipalities under 1,000,000 in population depicted in Figure 2 after multiple discussions in which alternatives were considered. As with the community areas, differences in population size across municipalities create a challenge for use of the per capita rate as the sole factor for selecting the municipalities. Also complicating this discussion is the fact that the RPSA has population thresholds of greater than 35,000 and less than 1,000,000, with a minimum population threshold meaning that lesser populated municipalities in the state would be excluded completely without an approach that accounted for rate and absolute number of shootings in some way.
Additionally, unlike in the City of Chicago, data collection on victims from police departments was not an option due to inconsistent reporting by jurisdictions across the state. The group settled on combined data from the Illinois Department of Public Health on fatal and nonfatal shooting victims, based on death certificate, emergency, and hospital admissions data throughout the state.
Ultimately, the FVRG confirmed that the same blended approach used for municipalities over 1,000,000 population would also be the best approach for those less than 1,000,000, with the added criteria of clustering contiguous areas that meet the selection criteria of highest rate for the larger municipalities, or highest raw number for all others, until 15 areas are identified. This process meets the specific language of the RPSA regarding municipalities less than 1,000,000 while enabling more municipalities to be eligible than just a straight ranked selection of single municipalities per slot. The selection process for the municipalities under 1,000,000 can be described as three steps.
Step 1. The municipalities with populations between 35,000 and 1,000,000 are sorted by rank order on highest per capita rate of fatal and non-fatal firearm-shot victimization 2016-2020 excluding self-inflicted for the municipalities of this population size. The list of municipalities ranked in this way is presented in Appendix 2A. The first 10 municipalities on that list are selected.
Step 2. Illinois municipalities of any population not already selected are then sorted in rank order by absolute (raw) numbers of fatal and non-fatal firearm-shot victimization 2016-2020 excluding self-inflicted. The list of municipalities ranked in this way is presented in Appendix 2B. The top five municipalities on this list are selected.
Step 3. After each list is ranked by its respective measure (rate or raw number), any selected municipalities that are contiguous to another selected one are joined together in a cluster. If a cluster is formed in this way, the next highest municipality on the ranking lists is selected in the open slot created by clustering. If that next municipality is contiguous to one in the original selected 15 slots, then it is also selected and joined to that cluster. The process continues down the appropriate list until there are fifteen total slots filled with selected municipalities and/or clusters of municipalities. A figure showing both lists of municipalities and how these steps resulted in their selection or non-selection is available in Appendix 2C-2D.
C. Data Sources
The FVRG agreed that there exists no single publicly available statewide data source that met the needs of the act for measuring victim data, specifically "fatal and non-fatal firearm-shot incidents" as specified in the act (430 ILCS 69/35-20d). Therefore, the FVRG was required to define "firearm-shot" incidents. The FVRG defined the concept as:
"Any assault in which a person is shot with a firearm, including both fatal and non-fatal incidents."
The group further defined "assault" as an incident in which a person intentionally shoots another person with malice. The term is not meant to convey the legal definition of "assault", which is more narrowly define in Illinois Compiled Statutes.
The definition of "firearm-shot incidents" excludes:
- Self-inflicted firearm injuries
- Involuntary homicide (e.g., firearm accidents)
- Incidents in which a person maliciously shoots at another person, but misses
The group decided to use the Chicago Police Department Shooting Incident data for cities with population over 1,000,000. The Chicago Police Department has made a "shooting incident" and more recently "shooting victim" measure available to the public. These measures are consistent with the FVRG definition and were recently used to determine violence prevention priority locations set by the City of Chicago Mayor's Office. As the source for fatal and nonfatal victim data, the FVRG sourced the Illinois Department of Public Health data for analysis of municipalities under 1,000,000 in population.
Other data sources considered were:
- The Uniform Crime Report (i.e., both supplementary and summary data),
- Emergency Medical Services data,
- National Incident-Based Reporting System data and the
- National Violent Death Reporting System data.
These sources had several limitations that were problematic to the research group. The National Violent Death Reporting System data, for example, did not collect data on all Illinois counties due to not all law enforcement agencies using the same reporting system. Many Illinois law enforcement agencies have yet to transition their Illinois State Police reporting to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
Another constraint was both the National Violent Death Reporting System and Uniform Crime Report data did not collect data on nonfatal shooting incidents.
Lastly, the research group found that both EMS data and Hospital Discharge data shared similar issues in that it only includes geographic information indicating where the patient resides and not where the firearm incident occurred. Because most EMS responses for a firearm injury are likely to result in a hospitalization (and hence be included in Hospital Discharge data), the research group opted not to ask IDPH for EMS data. A detailed description of these sets considered and the overall discussion of data sets by the FVRG is provided in Appendix 3.
D. Eligible Chicago Community Areas
Figure 1 shows in rank order the top 10 Chicago community areas, with the highest rates of firearm violence, as measured by combined fatal and non-fatal shooting victims per 10,000 population between 2016-2020. The next seven community areas are the top seven community areas based on volume, not already in the top 10. As permitted by the RPSA, the final five community areas on the list were added because they were the next five highest in terms of rate.
The population data is from US Census, 2020, while the victim data is extracted from City of Chicago Violence Reduction Dashboard, accessed on September 29, 2021 sourced from the Chicago Police Department Crime Victimization data which is updated daily. Violence prevention programs in these 22 community areas will be eligible for funding support and other forms of support from OFVP as per the Act. Figure 2 shows the selected community areas on a map of Chicago.
E. Eligible Municipalities Outside of Chicago
The eligible selected municipalities and clusters of selected municipalities of less than 1,000,000 are shown in Figure 3. This table shows the results of applying the selection process explained in detail above. The first 10 slots include municipalities over 35,000 and less than 1,000,000 in population with the highest rates of victimization, as measured by combined fatal and non-fatal shooting victims per 10,000 population between 2016-2020. Selected municipalities and clusters of municipalities in slots 11-15 have the highest number of combined fatal and non-fatal shooting victims per 20,000 population between 2016-2020 not already selected in slots 1-10. Where appropriate, these municipalities are also clustered with contiguous municipalities that also rank high on rate or number of victims. Violence prevention programs in the municipalities and clustered municipalities included in Figure 3 are eligible for funding support from OFVP.
F. Blocks where 35% of shootings in an area take place
In addition to identifying Chicago community areas with the most concentrated incidents of violence, the RPSA specifies that the OFVP must ensure that its youth programming targets blocks in the selected jurisdictions where more than 35% of the shootings in that community area take place. The research advisory group used Chicago Police Department Shooting Incident data to identify the corresponding blocks.
Figure 4 shows a map of West Garfield Park with specific census blocks darkened to indicate that they are part of a set of blocks that account for 35% of the total shootings in that community area. While Figure 4 is included here as an example, the FVRG has identified the census blocks that meet these criteria for the 22 selected community areas in Chicago identified in Figure 1. A set of maps showing the identified blocks along with a list of the identified blocks is available here (https://tinyurl.com/BLOCK-MAPS).
The approach taken to identify these blocks is as follows. First, the recorded address of each firearm-shot incident was assigned to a census block. Next, the shootings on all blocks within a community area were summed up to find the total number of shootings per community area. Finally, the list of blocks was ranked from most shootings to least shootings and grouped the blocks by number of shootings. Starting from those blocks with the most shootings, the blocks were added together until 35% of total shootings were captured in the selected blocks. Additional blocks were not included once the 35% threshold was reached. All blocks with that number of shootings or greater were included in the list and then mapped by community area.
III. IDHS Investments and Activities
IDHS activities from June through December 2021. The following activities were conducted during that time frame:
A. The Firearm Violence Research Group
With input from advocates and experts in the field of violence prevention, data, and research, IDHS leadership generated a list of recommended scholars and experts to form the Firearm Violence Prevention Research Group. The list of current participants and a full description of the activities of this group can be found in Section III. Geographic Target Areas and Rationale for Selection; Item A. Firearms Violence Prevention Research Group of this report.
B. Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance Partner
In September, IDHS entered into an intergovernmental agreement with University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) to provide a wide range of research and support services to the OFVP enabling the new office to apply immediate focus on violence prevention funding and support for providers. In this role, IPCE will work closely with, and under the direction of, the Assistant Secretary for the OFVP. The term of the partnership is through June of 2022.
IPCE will provide the following services as part of this role:
- Facilitate and project manage the data needs of the OFVP.
- Provide technical assistance to OFVP on evaluating best practices and outcomes.
- Develop and manage an online data collection system with a data dashboard for OFVP.
- Create opportunities for the networking of grantees and support the work of lead conveners and other groups with whom OFVP liaises.
- Facilitate TA to OFVP grantees regarding use of data and related research to support their work.
- Offer training, technical assistance and support to organizations in the eligible communities and municipalities/geographically contiguous areas to identify and prepare for public funding opportunities.
- Develop a communication plan for OFVP.
- Develop or assist with reports required by RPSA and/or requested by OFVP.
One key overarching aspect of UIC's work will be to coordinate support from colleagues across the U of I system, especially those with practical and research expertise in areas relevant to the work of the OFVP. IPCE will be able to draw from a pool of interdisciplinary scholars from the disciplines of public health, criminology, social work, medicine, psychology, sociology, urban planning, and public administration across all three campuses.
C. The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention (OFVP)
On October 18, 2021, Governor Pritzker appointed Christopher Patterson as Assistant Secretary of Firearm Violence Prevention. Assistant Secretary Patterson will lead the OFVP. Since its establishment, the OFVP has been working to build its staffing structure and office support system, including the creation of an organizational staffing chart and associated job descriptions to begin the staffing process. To date, the office has since acquired a Senior Policy Advisor and was approved for a Research Assistant as well administrative support.
D. Grant Funding Distribution
IDHS and the OFVP have the grant making, operational and procurement authority to distribute funds to execute the functions established in the Act.
IDHS released the following notices of funding opportunities for municipalities over 1,000,000 in population:
RPSA Violence Prevention Training, Technical Assistance and Support (RVP-TTAS) CSFA # 444-80-2771, available here. Applications are due on January 19, 2022 at 12:00PM.
RPSA Youth Development Training, Technical Assistance and Support (RYD-TTAS) CSFA # 444-80-2772, available here. Applications are due on January 19, 2022 at 12:00PM.
In early 2022, IDHS anticipates releasing the following notices of funding opportunities for municipalities over 1,000,000 in population:
RPSA Lead Violence Prevention Conveners (RLVPC) CSFA # 444-80-2773
RPSA Violence Prevention Organizations (RVPO) CSFA# 444-80-2774
RPSA Youth Development Organizations (RYDO) CSFA# 444-80-2775
RPSA High-Risk Youth Intervention Organizations (RHRYIO) CSFA# 444-80-2776
E. Local Advisory Councils (LAC)
The office has since gathered recommendations for potential LAC members for each of the identified community areas and is working to complete outreach to each and secure their confirmation of membership by January 2022. Once LACs have been formed, each will perform asset mapping exercises to supply a listing of resources and organizations in the area that support the seven categories for the OFVP in addition to interventions that have proven effective in curbing firearm violence in the area. The FVRG will support the councils by establishing relevant data measures that will help the councils further identify and establish priorities as well as hold funded RPSA firearm violence interventions accountable through measured community impact. The OFVP will provide LACs with sample meeting agendas and plain language instructions for organizing their work.
F. Additional Engagement to Assist with Capacity Building and to Support Violence Prevention
1. State and Local collaboration
Since inception, the OFVP has been supported by other State offices to help prepare and publish the NOFOs as well as support the office through to the funding process. While it is the intent that the OFVP staff its own department that will provide grant monitoring and technical assistance support to its funded service providers, the Office of Community and Positive Youth Development is also in the process of instilling a new program bureau that will manage grants that are funded specifically under the RPSA.
The OFVP is meeting with complementary local and State government entities to think through and apply resources that will lend to more community areas statewide receiving support to reduce firearm violence in those respective areas. Since November, the OFVP has been meeting with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) to discuss the coordination of funding allocations to provide resources to (1) new community areas that have been identified as being highly impacted by firearm violence in addition to (2) community areas that need more extensive investment to curb firearm violence. The OFVP is also participating in broader violence prevention municipality coordination discussions along with city and county representation to collectively speak through how to best accommodate a wider base of organizations that are knowledgeable of the various public funding opportunities that help address firearm violence but also are in a competitive position apply and receive funding support to implement program models that are effective in its approach and support the mission of the OFVP.
Additionally, the OFVP is participating in listening sessions and panel discussions across the state to not only provide a more regional introduction to the goals of the OFVP but also introduce the opening of the two funding opportunities for training and technical assistance providers. These listening sessions have included appearances in Peoria (co-hosted with Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth), Waukegan (co-hosted with Rep. Rita Mayfield), and in the city of Chicago - Northwestern University's N3 Symposium Advancing the Science and Practice of Street Outreach: Lessons Learned and The Future of Street Outreach in Illinois.
2. GATA Support and NOFO Technical Assistance Sessions:
To apply for RPSA funding, organizations must be prequalified in accordance with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA). Organizations can register and prequalify in the Illinois GATA Grantee Portal at any point prior to applying for funding.
IDHS created several options for building GATA capacity including:
IDHS: GATA Pre-Qualification Verification Form (state.il.us) (Assistance to ensure that an organization is prequalified)
IDHS GATA Technical Assistance Learning Management System (Self-paced online learning to help organizations understand GATA and the grant application process.)
Youth Development Programming Capacity Building Questionnaire (Free training, webinars, and one-on-one consultation to assist youth development programs in building capacity to successfully apply for State funding.)
Additionally, the OFVP and OCYPD have scheduled and will jointly host "Bidder's Conference(s)" or technical assistance sessions the first week in January 2022. These two sessions (one for each published NOFO) will be geared towards for interested providers looking to learn more about the currently published NOFO(s) as well as GATA requirements.
G. Department of Healthcare and Family Services
In July 2021, HFS met with staff from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to seek technical assistance and discuss options for introducing the services required under Sections 35-50 and 35-55 of the Reimagine Public Safety Act into the Illinois Medicaid State Plan. HFS staff have developed a conceptual framework for a team-based service delivery approach that provides trauma-recovery services to Medicaid eligible children and adults who have experienced chronic exposure to firearm violence. It is envisioned that this team-based approach will focus on the delivery of trauma informed mental health services, have specialized provider requirements and trainings, and is intended to be in line with and supported by the technical assistance, violence prevention, and youth development services being developed by DHS. In December 2021, HFS and OFVP staff began meeting to discuss opportunities for collaboration and coordination across the violence prevention and intervention system. HFS and OVFP will continue to meet regularly in 2022 to ensure there is cohesion and strong linkages as the various components of the Reimagine Public Safety Act are implemented.
IV. OFVP Recommendations
Upcoming priorities for the OFVP include (1) continuing to introduce the office to key partners and those with shared interests to promote public safety (2) Continue to build staffing structure and formal support for the office and (3) finalize and award selected providers for current and soon to be released grant opportunities. Immediate activities will consist of:
- Publishing the listing of community areas and municipalities that will be supported through funding per the RPSA.
- Continuing to brief key stakeholders on the goals and key updates of the OFVP. Stakeholders are inclusive of other state agencies, ILGA members as well as city and county government entities.
- Formalizing the FVRG as an official group and consultant arm of the OFVP.
- Incorporate and orient additional staff to the OFVP as outlined in the finalized organizational chart.
- Releasing funding opportunities for Lead Violence Prevention Conveners that will support eligible Chicago community areas per the RPSA. Soon after, the OFVP is looking to release funding notices for direct service program models in violence prevention, youth development and high-risk youth intervention. All contracts are to be awarded by April 2022.
- Confirming members for the Local Advisory Councils (LAC(s)) that will be in each of the eligible municipalities outside of the city limits of Chicago. These LACs will inform the OFVP of community-based funding strategies to incorporate into future NOFOs for municipalities outside of Chicago.