The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has been recognized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their work with the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program at the 2018 PSN National Conference’s Award Ceremony in Kansas City, Missouri. Law Enforcement Coordinator Didi Nelson was cited for her outstanding contribution to the PSN Program, and the Offender Alumni Association (OAA), which organizes support groups for high-risk adult felons being released from custody to provide peer-to-peer support, help them solve dilemmas, and connect them with resources, received the DOJ Innovative Prevention/Reentry Strategy award.
Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities, and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work being done in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “As part of our PSN Strategy, we have extended partnerships and collaborations beyond the metro Atlanta area, teaming with individual law enforcement agencies and prosecutor’s offices to eliminate havens for crime and removing those who drive that crime from the community. In addition, we continue our commitment to assisting those returning from incarceration, seeking successful reentry into the community, through partnerships with outstanding organizations like the OAA. Congratulations again to both Didi and the OAA.”
During her more than three-decade career with DOJ, Didi Nelson has been a mainstay of the PSN program who has implemented the program faithfully and consistently in the District since its inception. As a former police officer Nelson’s commitment, credibility, and extensive knowledge of the program served as the bridge between the Department and local and state law enforcement whose partnership is so crucial for PSN’s success. Didi continually works to implement anti-violence initiatives in every corner (and county) of the Northern District of Georgia as she also impacts the national PSN program more broadly as an ongoing consulting expert to other Districts in the country that are seeking to develop effective PSN strategies of their own.
OAA organizes support groups for high-risk adult felons being released from custody to provide peer-to-peer support, help them solve dilemmas, and connect them with resources. The organization consists of former offenders who are uniquely motivated and committed to helping those about to pending release from prison. OAA’s model recognizes that continuous and consistent support is crucial to help prevent recidivism. Accordingly, they meet with offenders while they are incarcerated and maintains relationships with them and their families, connecting them with networks of support in their communities upon release. The organization has supported more than 650 offenders returning to the community. In 2018, OAA expanded in support of the Northern District of Georgia’s PSN strategy and partners with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, state and federal agencies, and other providers to support high-risk adult offenders being released from custody into PSN target enforcement areas.