Governor Murphy and AG Platkin Announce Recipients of $15M in Grant Funding for Violence Intervention and Prevention Work
32 Organizations Receive Financial Support to Help Reduce Community Violence
TRENTON — Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that a total of $15 million in state and federal grant funding will be distributed to more than 30 organizations to support and expand New Jersey’s Community-Based Violence Intervention (CBVI) Program. The grant recipients are non-profit community service providers that receive funding for the development and implementation of violence intervention and prevention programming in communities impacted by higher-than-average rates of violence, with a focus on gun violence. Originally funded as part of Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget, the CBVI program was a landmark in financial support that recognized the importance of violence intervention work. Governor Murphy included another $10 million as part of his Fiscal Year 2023 Budget and supplemented that amount with another $5 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds. This $15 million total dedicated to CBVI programming is a new high-water mark of investment and will allow a significant expansion of violence intervention initiatives across New Jersey. This brings the total CBVI commitment to $25 million over the last two state budget cycles. “Groundbreaking violence intervention and prevention programs, like the Community-Based Violence Intervention program, are essential in our efforts to combat violence in our communities,” said Governor Murphy. “We are incredibly grateful to the federal government for providing funding and supporting our efforts to keep New Jerseyans safe from violence. Residents of our state can rest assured that Attorney General Platkin and I will continue to work with dedicated stakeholders to establish innovative and evidence-based approaches to reduce violence and keep our communities safe.” “Public safety is my number one priority, and thanks to Governor Murphy we are making another historic investment in communities across the state to support their critical violence intervention work,” said Attorney General Platkin. “These community-based and community-led solutions interrupt cycles of violence and are an essential part of keeping our residents safe. With this funding, we will be able to deepen and expand our commitment to build a public health approach to reduce gun violence and other violent crime.” Community violence intervention practitioners provide a range of services from street outreach, group and individual counseling, mentoring and career development, cognitive behavioral therapy, case management, afterschool programming, and community referrals. These efforts include funding for violence interventionists, who are individuals that identify others who are at a high risk for committing violence and work with them to stop the escalation and retaliation of violent acts; experienced individuals who create safe passageways for students traveling to and from school in areas plagued by violent crime; credible messengers who work with guidance counselors in schools to help connect youth experiencing trauma and who are at risk for violence and victimization to trauma-informed services; and grief counseling for children of victims of gun violence. In September 2022, Attorney General Platkin created the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA) to, among other things, provide structure and permanent support for violence intervention programs and bring a survivor centered, trauma informed approach to public safety. VIVA provides the leadership and dedicated professionals to support, guide and expand programs like CBVI and Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIP), which recently received another round of funding support from the Murphy Administration. Using funding originally provided through the federal Victims of Crime Act and the American Rescue Plan program, the state has invested more than $40 million in the HVIP initiative. The programs are critical to the state’s efforts to reduce cycles of violence at their source. Together, CBVI and HVIP mark a transformation in New Jersey’s approach to public safety. “Community-based violence is preventable,” said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of VIVA. “These grants will help support a network of providers whose breadth of services can and will transform communities and create a blueprint for others, in New Jersey and beyond, who share our vision for safer, more resilient communities.” “New Jersey’s Community Based Violence Intervention program is a national model for addressing the root causes of violence,” said Steven Campos, Director of VIVA’s Office of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance. “These programs will uplift community leaders as local experts and essential partners.” These grants build on previous and continuing efforts by the Administration to reduce gun violence. In 2021, Governor Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office announced a new initiative to expand violence intervention work in New Jersey through $10 million in state funding to establish the CBVI program. This program represented the largest single investment in community-based violence intervention in the state’s history. The CBVI funding reflects a key component of the Murphy Administration’s efforts to tackle the root causes of violent crime. Over the last year, CBVI grants directly funded more than 20 community organizations in every region of the state, supporting intervention strategies that help communities reduce gun violence by developing healing relationships among the groups and individuals who are at the center of gun violence. Through this year’s CBVI funding, New Jersey will provide support to 32 organizations implementing violence prevention and intervention services in 13 of the state’s 21 counties.
Find the full press release here.