In 2006, the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Initiative was formed in Fresno. One of its programs, Operation Ceasefire, focuses on reducing gun violence. An approach used involves “call-ins” – meetings where law enforcement officers and individuals on probation meet.
The call-ins are essentially a “scared straight” strategy that asks participants to stop the violence. The Fresno Police Department decides who should attend by creating profiles of individuals recently released from prison and placed on probation.
This “strategy” has been in place for 10 years and 33 call-ins have been held, with about 600 participants and a budget of about $5 million. The only local community benefit organization known to have partnered with MGPI and received some funding through Operation Ceasefire is Cornerstone Community Care.
Are there other local organizations, including churches, that have the capacity to assist formerly incarcerated individuals with a variety of programs or resources? Contact the MGPI program director at (559) 621-6213 if you’re an organization with the capacity and passion to help.
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Cinthia Quesada, Fresno