Investment Would Also Create A New Office of Firearm Violence Prevention To Address Gun Violence
The Illinois chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a $250 million investment for gun violence intervention programs on Monday. Over the next three years, the funding — a combination of federal and state money — will directly support violence prevention and interruption initiatives in Illinois neighborhoods as part of the Reimagine Public Safety Act.
“Violence intervention programs can be the difference between life and death, especially for our state’s at-risk youth. Governor Pritzker’s investment in violence interrupters is a win for gun safety and a win for our communities,” said Christine Peters, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We applaud state leaders for taking this critical step toward making Illinois safer from gun violence.”
Governor Pritzker’s executive order lays out a four-pronged approach for violence intervention that includes:
- Intervention programs for high-risk youth
- Violence prevention services
- After school and summer programming to increase youth school attendance and reduce contact with the criminal justice system
- Trauma-recovery services for young people
The executive order also requires state agencies focused on gun violence to work alongside the state’s new Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to address the systemic causes of gun violence and develop strategies that take equity and trauma into account.
Community-based violence intervention programs apply an effective, localized approach to gun violence prevention, providing evidence and community-informed, comprehensive support to individuals who are at greatest risk of gunshot victimization. These programs are shown to reduce gunshot wounds and deaths in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.
In an average year, 1,400 people die and 4,148 people are wounded by guns in Illinois. Black people in Illinois are 32 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide. Gun violence costs Illinois $10.6 billion billion each year, of which $668.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Illinois is available here.