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House Passes Build Back Better Act that Includes Critical Funding for Community Violence Intervention

Giffords and partners have long called for a significant investment in community-based violence intervention and prevention programs 

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed the historic Build Back Better Act. With $5 billion for community violence intervention (CVI) initiatives, the Build Back Better Act represents the largest federal investment in these kinds of lifesaving programs ever passed by Congress. Gun deaths skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Black and Brown communities bearing the brunt of that increase. This funding will be critical in helping stem the gun violence epidemic.  

“President Joe Biden made a commitment to the American people that he would work to end the gun violence epidemic, which has only gotten worse during the pandemic. Today’s vote marks an important step towards that goal,” said Adzi Vokhiwa, Giffords Federal Affairs Director. “Community violence intervention programs save lives—but only when they’re given enough funding over the long term. This historic $5 billion investment will properly fund these programs and provide adequate pay, benefits, and training to the violence intervention workers who put their lives on the line each and every day to make our communities safer. We thank the House for passing the Build Back Better Act, and urge the Senate to take up this legislation as soon as possible.”

CVI programs seek to curb gun violence by focusing resources on the small fraction of the population at the highest risk for engaging in gun violence. They often employ violence interrupters—members of the community who put themselves on the front lines of gun violence by helping identify, intervene in, and mediate violent conflicts. Violence interrupters are predominantly Black and Brown, doing this work in communities that are disproportionately ravaged by gun violence. Although a wide range of these programs have been proven effective in stemming gun violence, they have historically been severely underfunded

Giffords works with local, state, and federal governments to support and direct resources to community-driven violence intervention programs. Over the summer, Giffords Law Center interviewed more than 200 violence intervention workers across four cities and recently published the findings in a report highlighting the importance of CVI workers. More information on CVI programs can be found here


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