Amid intense criticism from the left that the White House and Congress haven’t done enough to stop gun violence, the Biden administration has been underwriting an initiative that’s drawn barely any notice.
The work started on the campaign trail, when Joe Biden pitched community violence intervention as a component of his gun violence prevention plan. Once he took office, Biden secured tens of billions of dollars that can be used for community violence intervention, which he and advocates say is critical for reducing recidivism rates.
On Thursday, the White House will mark the end of its 18-month initiative known as the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative with a celebration at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. For a year and a half, city and county leaders around the country have received funding, training and technical assistance, and met regularly with White House officials to bolster community violence intervention programs that have been shown to break cycles of violence.
These programs often connect former gang members and other high-risk individuals with mental health care and other social services. …
“It is very lonely work — when you’re working in neighborhoods, 3 o’clock in the morning, when something happens and you’re up all night,” said Latrina Kelly-James, training and technical assistance director for the Community Based Public Safety Collective, one of the five national training providers. “What this initiative has done is actually created a community of colleagues and practitioners in this work, who are then going to take that community and build it together.”
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