Community Violence Priority: Legislation to End Urban Gun Violence

violence prevention

Increasing gun violence has become a widespread issue impacting communities in the United States and causes lasting trauma, with cascading consequences for children, families, and communities. Community violence has also disproportionately affected resilient communities disadvantaged by poverty, racism, and a lack of educational and economic opportunities. To address this issue at the root causes, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing a comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence and other violent crime. 

Community violence intervention (CVI) programs have been shown to reduce violence by as much as 60%. These programs are effective because they leverage trusted messengers who work directly with individuals most likely to commit gun violence, intervene in conflicts, and connect people to social, health and wellness, and economic services to reduce the likelihood of violence as an answer to conflict. Implementing interventions and preventive measures that are proven to reduce crime are the foundation of this strategy.

Key areas of the strategy include:

  • Investing in evidence-based community violence interventions;
  • Expanding summer programming, employment opportunities, and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults; and
  • Helping formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter their communities.

This strategy will use the Rescue Plan’s historic funding levels and clear guidance to help state, local, territorial, and tribal governments with resources to effectively engage communities. The strategy will also address the direct link between gun violence and the rise in violent crime by taking immediate steps for gun control and preventing gun trafficking across state lines.

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Selected Resources

Reports on the Implementation of the Gun-Free Schools: These reports present a collection of data and reports on the implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) across U.S. states and other jurisdictions with the goal of strengthening the quality of GFSA data submissions.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package: This training package is made up of four components to understand, build and lead trauma-sensitive schools. It includes online modules, handouts and actions guides.

Building Student Resilience Toolkit: This toolkit is made up of four modules to strengthen the skills of middle school and junior high school students to be resilient.

‘A Resource for Change’: The Role of Peer Recovery Support Specialists in Reentry Programs: This article discusses the unique ways that peer recovery support specialists can enhance reentry programs. 

An Overview of the Adolescent Recovery Oriented Systems of Care Project: This project is a multi-year endeavor for juvenile courts that wish to lead the field in applying the principles of recovery capital to improve operations and enhance positive youth development. 


Assessing and Enhancing Cultural Responsiveness in Reentry Programs Through Research and Evaluation: This resource brief describes how evaluation activities can assess a reentry program's cultural responsiveness and identify strategies for improvement. 

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