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Legislators Introduce Crucial Bill to Invest in Community Violence Intervention Programs

Washington, DCGiffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, lauded lawmakers for introducing legislation that would invest in effective community-based violence reduction initiatives by building safer, thriving communities to save lives. The Break the Cycle of Violence Act proposes a $5 billion investment, over 8 years, into community-based violence intervention and $1.5 billion into youth employment programs. Theseprograms are proven to produce lifesaving and cost-saving results in a short period of time without contributing to mass incarceration. The bill’s introduction comes amid a surge in gun violence in cities across the country throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Carrillo, Giffords Community Violence Initiative Director:

“For many years, Black and Brown-led organizations have pioneered community-led programs and solutions to reduce violence. These programs are effective and save lives. Greater funding will allow them to do more and save even more lives across the country. The Break the Cycle of Violence Act will provide the kind of consistent funding needed for more cities and communities to implement these life-saving strategies. We thank Senator Booker and Congressman Horsford for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with Congress to expand and replicate this lifesaving work for more communities.” 

In the last decade, over 175,000 people were murdered in the United States and in 2020, the nation suffered the largest single-year spike in homicides on record. Gun violence is a cycle and gunshot victims often face repeated injury and an increased likelihood of later perpetrating violence. This violence disproportionately impacts young people of color––50 percent of children killed by guns are Black. This violence imposes enormous fiscal costs on all communities and taxpayers, costing the United States $280 billionevery year. In April, President Biden announced a series of executive actions on gun safety, including directing resources in five federal agencies to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible, and the previously announced $5 billion for violence intervention work in the American Jobs Plan. 

The Break the Cycle of Violence Act would:

  • Invest $5 billion over 8 years for a competitive grant program to community-based organizations and local units of government that develop effective, prevention-oriented violence reduction initiatives focused on young people at highest risk for violence.
  • Create a new Office of Community Violence Intervention and National Community Violence Response Center in the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Invest $1.5 billion over 8 years for the Improving Approaches for Communities to Thrive (IMPACT) grant for eligible organizations and units of local government to provide job training, education, apprenticeship, skilled trades training, or other paid and unpaid work experiences for opportunity youth in communities disproportionately affected by gun violence.



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