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Giffords Applauds House Passage of Break the Cycle of Violence Act

Washington DC — Today, Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded the House passage of H.R. 4118, the Break the Cycle of Violence Act sponsored by Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV), which was included in a package of bills addressing public safety.

Adzi Vokhiwa, Federal Affairs Director, Giffords:

“Daily violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, which have been under-invested in by our federal government for far too long. The Break the Cycle of Violence Act directly invests in the health, safety, and well-being of these communities by funding community violence intervention strategies that have been proven to reduce gun violence. This lifesaving legislation builds on the progress made by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act this summer, and has the potential to turn the tide on the devastating rise in gun violence we’ve seen over the past several years. We applaud the House for taking this critical step and thank Congressman Horsford for his leadership on this issue.”

The Break the Cycle of Violence Act invests a historic $5 billion in grant programs to support community violence intervention work. These programs are housed within the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill also includes an additional $1.5 billion in grants to provide job training, education, and skilled trades training for youth in communities disproportionately impacted by community violence. 

Investing in CVI programs is an effective way to address violence and save lives; federal funding for CVI programs has been a key component of the Biden Administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence, including in the Safer America Plan.St. Louis, Missouri, invested robustly in CVI strategies in 2020 and 2021, including street outreach, trauma-informed job training, and hospital-based violence intervention programs, and saw a 25% reduction in homicides. Newark, New Jersey, has been a national leader in implementing CVI strategies including the Newark Community Street Team and violence intervention program at University Hospital, and saw a 50% reduction in homicides between 2013 and 2019, reaching a six-decade low. 

The reduction in gun violence attributed to CVI programs also has significant economic benefits. Massachusetts has one of the nation’s lowest rates of gun homicide and is a leading investor in evidence-based community violence intervention and prevention programs, which have prevented shootings and saved lives while saving Massachusetts taxpayers $5.10 for every dollar invested. 

A March 2020 analysis of Advance Peace in Sacramento, California, found that for every dollar spent on their community violence intervention program, the city saved between $18-$41 on emergency response, healthcare, law enforcement, and other criminal justice system costs. And in Richmond, California, the Operation Peacemaker CVI program saved the city more than $541 million over a period of five years, with annual operating costs of less than $5.5 million.