Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING’S FUNDING REQUEST FOR GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS
~ Herring requested $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to allow the OAG to do community-based violence prevention work in communities across the Commonwealth most impacted by gun violence ~
RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is praising the General Assembly for passing his funding request that allow the Office of Attorney General (OAG) to implement community-based gun violence prevention programs across the Commonwealth in communities that have been most impacted by gun violence. Ahead of the special legislative session, Attorney General Herring proposed that $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan go towards community-based gun violence prevention programs in localities across the Commonwealth. Attorney General Herring and his team will work with local community violence prevention advocates, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to implement these programs that will emphasize outreach, prevention, and intervention, while also promoting evidence-based practices.
Additionally, Attorney General Herring is planning to host roundtables across the Commonwealth to hear from law enforcement, advocates, and community leaders about what their communities need to combat gun violence and violent crime.
“We have had a gun violence problem in Virginia for too long. Gun violence is not limited to mass shootings, it is also the solitary shootings that can have a devastating ripple effect throughout a community,” said Attorney General Herring. “These community-based intervention and prevention programs have proven to be effective in reducing gun violence and other violent crimes, and I’m looking forward to working with localities and local stakeholders to invest in and implement the best programs for each community. I want to thank our partners in both the House and the Senate as well as our law enforcement and advocate partners in helping to get this critical funding into the budget.”
Through these community-based programs, Attorney General Herring and his team will work with local law enforcement, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, and gun violence prevention advocates to reduce gun violence and other violent crime through a combination of outreach, prevention, intervention, and evidence-based practices. Program implementation will have a regional approach that will be supported by existing OAG violence reduction staff that are already placed throughout Virginia in these communities in addition to hiring additional violence reduction specialists to support these efforts.
Violence reduction specialists will promote prevention and awareness programming that includes:
- Youth engagement
- Conflict resolution and mediation
- Partnership with neighborhood watches and other crime prevention organizations
- Collaboration with houses of worship and other stakeholder organizations
Previous violence reduction efforts led by Attorney General Herring’s office have shown significant results in Richmond and Norfolk. A multiyear gun violence reduction project in Norfolk saw a 19% reduction in violent crimes and a 25% reduction in homicides. Additionally, two phases of a similar campaign in Richmond contributed to a 50% decrease in homicides, and an average decrease of 30% in violent crimes in priority neighborhoods.
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