BullyBlocker: Prevention and Intervention Program (2022)

Video Edition Updated

Mobile County District Attorney’s Office (Mobile, AL)

Population: 414,000 | Number of Full-Time Prosecutors: 28 | Contact Information

The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office (MCDA) has developed a program to combat bullying in local schools.  BullyBlocker allows anyone to anonymously report bullying through text messaging which is distributed to trained staff for timely assistance.

MCDA has also established a dedicated BullyBlocker webpage with tips and resources to combat bullying.  According to longstanding  scientific research, men who bullied others in childhood were three times more likely to end up with an adult criminal conviction than non-bullies.  Newer research indicates that criminal justice involvement is also higher for those who were victims of bullying. Recognizing the impact bullying has on criminal justice involvement, MCDA instituted this valuable prevention program in their community. 

In response to increases in online bullying due to the proliferation of social media, MCDA has developed a low cost anonymous texting platform that can be used by school children and others to report bullying.  The text platform asks the reporter for as much information as they are willing to provide, so that social workers can respond with services to victims, those accused of bullying, and schools.  The social workers are employed by the District Attorney under a special grant awarded by the local school district, and they conduct personalized outreach, including emergency referrals in cases where self-harm is possible, intervention services to those accused of bullying, and targeted presentations for local schools.  Response to the program by schools, kids, and parents has been overwhelmingly positive and use of the program has been popular with at least one report coming in each day over the life of the program.