|Posted:||June 2, 2021 11:49 AM|
|From:||Senator Anthony H. Williams and Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. Sharif Street|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Community Violence Prevention Funding through American Rescue Plan|
|In the near future, we plan on introducing legislation to allocate $100 million of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) for violence prevention and public safety initiatives. The allocation of this money will provide much needed assistance to a growing epidemic plaguing our communities.
The epidemic of rising crime rates across our communities has been recognized by U.S. Treasury. In their guidance U.S. Treasury understood the negative impact COVID-19 has had on violence in our communities. Use of State Fiscal Relief Fund for “evidence-based community violence intervention programs to prevent violence and mitigate the increase in violence during the pandemic . . .” was expressly included in their guidance.
All of us are aware of the rise in violence COVID-19 has brought to many communities across the Commonwealth. According to research from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, the homicide rate in 2020 was 11.4 deaths per 100,000 residents. The study also found in 2020 that gun assaults rose by 8% and aggravated assaults rose by 6%. Domestic violence incidents, according to the report, have increased by more than 8% after COVID-related lockdowns took effect.
Under our plan, $100 million in grant funding would be awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Funding will be available for evidence-based community-based gun violence prevention programs as well as for programs designed to reduce suicide, domestic violence, violence based on race/ethnicity/national origin/gender/sexual orientation.
I hope you will join us in sponsoring this legislation.