Booker Hosts Discussion on Community Violence Intervention Programs
Bridgeton, NJ – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker hosted a roundtable discussion with Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, elected officials, and advocates on federally funded community violence intervention initiatives.
In 2017, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office was awarded a federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Safe and Thriving Communities grant, titled CC Thrive, to reduce and prevent gun violence in the county’s three largest municipalities. Using the grant, the county has implemented strategies to improve policies, practices, and programs that prevent at-risk people from becoming involved in the criminal justice system, reduce risk factors for offending, closely monitor gang-involved persons through community-based agencies, schools, and grassroots groups, and prepare people for reentry by establishing collaboration with the community.
Booker has been a proponent of evidence-based community violence intervention strategies. In 2019, he introduced the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, legislation that would provide federal grants to communities for gun violence intervention and prevention programs designed to interrupt cycles of violence. Research has shown that a combination of community-oriented intervention programs and commonsense gun control policies can reduce gun violence rates.
“Addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our nation requires us to take a comprehensive approach,” said Sen. Booker. “In addition to commonsense firearm safety laws, community violence intervention programs like the one implemented in Cumberland County have the potential to substantially lower rates of gun violence in our cities and towns. Research has shown that these programs work and it’s vital that we start investing more federal dollars into these initiatives to save lives and keep our communities safe.”
“Having Senator Booker sit with local leaders to discuss our community justice work to reduce and prevent violence is a testament to the dedicated effort of the individuals and organizations doing this work everyday,” said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae. “We are encouraged, but also know there is so much more to be done. We appreciate the support and attention the Senator is giving to Cumberland County and will continue to call on him for resources as we find innovative ways to reimagine public safety so our community can thrive.”
Today’s event was part of Booker’s 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip, a series of stops highlighting the priorities he continues to fight for in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the state’s residents. The road trip will focus on Booker’s ongoing commitment to serving New Jersey’s veterans, his efforts to secure congressionally directed spending for critical New Jersey projects and organizations, and his support of local businesses and industries, among other things.