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Division of Criminal Justice’s SAVED Program Helps Children Impacted by Violence


(New Britain, CT)  -- New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski announced today the launch of the State’s Attorney’s Violence Eradication and Disruption (SAVED) pilot program that focuses on helping children impacted by violence in their communities.

Considered the most forward-looking prevention-focused program ever initiated by the Division of Criminal Justice, SAVED uses a Violence Prevention Interventionist and Division of Criminal Justice Inspectors in partnership with school resource officers and other local stakeholders to identify children in the community who have been affected by violence and provide them with appropriate treatment services and information in an effort to mitigate the long-term consequences of trauma.

State’s Attorney Preleski was joined today by New Britain Mayor Erin E. Stewart, Bristol Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano, New Britain Police Chief Christopher W. Chute, Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould, Newington Police Chief Stephen M. Clark and Violence Prevention Interventionist John Walker for the announcement at the New Britain Police Department.

“We understand that exposure to trauma in childhood increases the risk of negative outcomes in adulthood including substance abuse, mental health problems and involvement in the criminal justice system,” State’s Attorney Preleski said. “What we are trying to do is work with our local and state partners to ensure that children exposed to trauma, whether it be domestic violence, sexual violence or psychological abuse, are given the coping skills and support they need to effectively deal with that trauma.”

SAVED, a first-of-its-kind program within the Division of Criminal Justice, will help provide children with the tools they need to cope with the trauma they have been exposed to and educate their parents and the adults in their lives as to the lasting impacts of childhood trauma. This is critical to breaking multi-generational cycles of violence, substance abuse and criminal justice involvement. The program also will help the Division of Criminal Justice with its continued outreach to the communities they serve, an important effort that enhances the public’s trust in the criminal justice system.

“We are painfully aware of how exposure to violence can affect a child’s well-being, it’s a multifaceted impact that requires a holistic approach to healing,” said Mayor Erin E. Stewart. “This SAVED program is yet another initiative we now have in New Britain designed to help those who may be struggling to become the best versions of themselves, and lead amazingly fulfilled lives.”

John Walker, a retired police officer and senior pastor of the Saint James Missionary Baptist Church in New Britain, will serve as the program’s Violence Prevention Interventionist, working with Inspectors in the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office, local police and community groups to identify young people impacted by trauma and connect them to services in the community.

“I want to thank Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., for supporting this pilot program within our existing budget. He recognizes the importance of this work to our communities and we hope to continue it beyond this fiscal year,” said State’s Attorney Preleski.

The pilot program, funded by the Division of Criminal Justice, will run from January 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022, and will involve the collection of program data and metrics, important information the Division will use to secure funding sources for SAVED beyond June.