Acting AG Bruck Announces $12 Million in Grant Funding to Reduce Gun Violence and Support Victims
TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced that the Department of Law & Public Safety is making available $12 million in grant funding to reduce gun violence and support crime victims, including $10 million to support Community-Based Violence Intervention (CBVI) Programs—the largest single investment in such programs in New Jersey’s history.
The Department is now accepting applications from nonprofits and other community organizations for these grant funds, as described in the Notices of Availability of Funds (NOAFs) that the Department is releasing to the public today. Funding is available to support two programs: $10 million for the CBVI grant program, and $2 million in COVID-19 relief funds to provide emergency housing for crime victims.
The $10 million CBVI funding was included in the State Fiscal Year 2022 Budget, and reflects a key component of the Murphy Administration’s efforts to tackle the root causes of violent crime. Through the CBVI program, non-profit community service providers will receive funding for the development and implementation of violence intervention programming for communities impacted by higher than average rates of violence, with a focus on gun violence.
“Under our Administration, New Jersey has been a national leader in violence reduction efforts,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This funding will support victims of crime in rebuilding their lives, while also preventing crime through intervention efforts and other community-based solutions. I applaud Acting Attorney General Bruck for his continued leadership on this critical issue.”
“We cannot end gun violence unless we invest in the people working on the ground to make their communities safer,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “The grant funding we’re making available today is an essential part of the Murphy Administration’s public safety strategy and a reflection of our commitment to this issue. We recognize that prosecutors and police cannot end gun violence on their own, and this funding will strengthen the community partners who are so essential to building safer neighborhoods.”
“I am thankful for Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck’s commitment to combatting gun violence in our communities and for understanding the need for alternative violence reduction initiatives,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Here in Newark, my administration and our residents work collectively to create a safer city and we strongly believe in strategically investing in community-based public safety with a public health and trauma-informed approach.”
The purpose of the CBVI program is to support non-profit community service providers by soliciting applications for initiatives including street outreach and mentoring, trauma-informed programs with cognitive behavioral therapy, and integration of local social service providers to connect people to social and economic services. CBVI programs have a track record of success, and have reduced homicides by as much as 60% in communities where they were initiated. These programs employ violence intervention strategies that provide alternatives to violence and embody a community-based public safety model.
In addition to the CBVI program, the $2 million COVID-19 Emergency Housing for Victims program provides funding for the relocating of high-risk victims of crime who face threats within their community, and whose victimization is directly related to, or heightened by, the pandemic. This program is supported by the Federal Fiscal Year 2020 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) grant. Funding for this program will be used to provide emergency housing services in two purpose areas. The first includes $1 million for a single entity to provide statewide emergency housing services specifically to victims of domestic violence. The second purpose area includes $1 million for applicants to provide COVID-19 emergency housing for all other victims of violence including sexual assault, human trafficking, and gun violence, with individual grant awards up to $50,000.
As part of the office’s commitment to ensuring access to the funds, two live virtual grants workshops will be held in December to provide technical assistance and additional information on the application process.
Virtual Violence Intervention Grants Workshop 1
Dec 1, 2021 10:00 AM https://njoag.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_zpvI5gYCRWCYM95zBmA7Pg
Virtual Violence Intervention Grants Workshop 2
Dec 7, 2021 01:00 PM
For the full eligibility and application requirements, the NOAFs and Application Guidelines/Instructions for each funding opportunity are available online at www.njoag.gov/resources/grant-opportunities/notices-of-available-funds/
Overview of Public Safety Grant Funding
The two grant programs announced today represent just the latest in funding offered by the Department of Law & Public Safety to support law enforcement, reduce crime, and assist victims. Other programs include:
- $58 million in state dollars as part of the Murphy Administration’s support for Body-Worn Cameras for law enforcement;
- $2.6 million in Justice Assistance Grants for County Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Forces;
- $6.6 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding to support nonprofits and local governments to assist victims of crime;
- $20 million in VOCA funding provided to hospitals and community groups to partner on innovative anti-violence efforts;
- $31 million in VOCA dollars to non-profit victim services service providers for victim assistance grants;
- $10.5 million in VOCA funding to support county victim witness offices;
- $4.2 million in VOCA funding for Sexual Assault Response Teams and Forensic Nurse Examiner programs and costs;
- $6 million in VOCA dollars for Trauma Recovery Centers; and
- $225,000 in VOCA funding to support the Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline.
Gun Violence Reduction Strategy
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy and Acting AG Bruck are leading a comprehensive, statewide effort to reduce gun deaths, which pairs the latest evidence-based policing strategies with innovative, community-based prevention programs. The three-pronged approach to tackling this public health crisis includes addressing the root causes of violence; keeping guns away from those most likely to harm others; and taking swift action against those who break the law. These efforts have included:
- Bringing criminal charges against those who illegally transport untraceable “ghost guns” into New Jersey. For example, in October, a Morris County man was indicted for transporting “ghost gun” kits from Pennsylvania to New Jersey with the intent to manufacture illegal untraceable firearms without the serial numbers mandated by state and federal law to allow law enforcement to trace the weapons.
- Creating a statewide “Gun Violence Reduction Task Force” in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), and all 21 County Prosecutor’s Office.
- Building the country’s most comprehensive statewide database on “crime guns” within the NJSP, creating an invaluable tool for criminal investigators seeking to trace illegal firearms to their source.
Buying back thousands of unwanted guns from the community, including nearly 3,000 firearms obtained on October 23, 2021—the largest single-day gun buyback in New Jersey’s history.