New initiative aims to make Prospect Corridor safer

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Prospect Avenue corridor has been long considered one of Kansas City, Missouri's most dangerous neighborhoods. But a new initiative is working to make the neighborhood safer for everybody.

The new public safety project is a partnership between the No Violence Alliance, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department and other neighborhood groups working to reduce the crime, drugs and prostitution the East Side neighborhood so dangerous for many residents.

"There's some hot spots in the area where there's violent crime, violent activity that's been going on," said KCPD Sgt. Garrik Haynes. "That's why this area was chosen first."

The program involves assigning four officers to patrol the area exclusively. In addition, the people they arrest will be given the chance to make good by working with their victims to decide on a proper restitution.

"Instead of going to jail where they're separated, they're drawn back in to where they belong with community members who actually care about them and they're able to see the human consequence of the harm that they caused," said Annette Lantz-Simmons of the Center for Conflict Resolution
. She says that 85 percent of the offenders that go through the Restorative Justice Program do not go on to re-offend.

"The goal is to restore the community so that means restore the victim, restore the offender and restore the community," said Lantz-Simmons.