FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 31, 2021
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WASHINGTON, DC – Alliance for Safety and Justice applauded President Biden’s proposal to invest $5 billion over eight years in evidence-based community violence prevention programs as part of his administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, called The American Jobs Plan. As the country continues to recover from the societal and economic devastation of the Coronavirus pandemic and to reduce its harmful and ineffective overreliance on the criminal justice system, these proposed funds are poised to play a vital role in building the safety infrastructure communities in crisis need.
“This is a historic proposal,” said Aqeela Sherrills, executive director of the newly formed Community Based Public Safety Association. “It will not only reduce violence, but it will also make workforce development a part of local public safety infrastructures, providing jobs to people who are closest to violence.”
“The American Jobs Plan’s proposal to invest in community violence prevention programs is an enormous achievement, one that has been years in the making,” said Shakyra Diaz, Chief of Staff at Alliance for Safety and Justice. “We congratulate our allies, including the Community Justice Action Fund, the LIVE FREE Campaign, the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI), and many others, who made it happen.”
In 2020, Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) founded the National Coalition for Shared Safety to build support for federal investments like those envisioned in the American Jobs Plan. As part of the effort, ASJ commissioned a survey of American voters for a report entitled Toward Shared Safety: The First-Ever National Survey of America’s Safety Gaps. The survey found that large majorities of Americans support using federal resources to strengthen community-led violence prevention and safety programs.
Diaz continued: “Standing with the tens of thousands of crime survivors and people with past convictions we work with across the country, we thank the Administration for this proposal and urge Congress to move quickly to make it a reality for the communities that have been most harmed by violence, but least helped by their government.”