June 8, 2017—As the California state budget deadline fast approaches, over 300 Californians have sent letters to members of the California Legislature urging them to reauthorize funding for the California Gang Reduction, Intervention & Prevention (CalGRIP) program.

CalGRIP is one of the only sources of state-level funding for locally driven violence prevention strategies. In recent years, CalGRIP grantee cities across California, including Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland, have achieved lifesaving, cost-effective reductions in both violent crime and incarceration by implementing programs that provide focused outreach, counseling, and other services to at-risk youth. For example:

  • CalGRIP has provided Los Angeles $3 million over the past three years to help fund its Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program. Los Angeles has seen a 38% reduction in homicides and 46% reduction in aggravated assaults since launching GRYD in 2007. [FBI Uniform Crime Reports]
  • Over the past three years, CalGRIP has provided the City of Richmond $1.5 million to help fund the Office of Neighborhood Safety—a city agency dedicated exclusively to the prevention of violence. Richmond has seen a 53% drop in gun homicides and a 45% drop in non-fatal shootings since ONS launched the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship program in 2010.[Office of Neighborhood Safety]
  • CalGRIP has provided $1.5 million to the City of Oakland to fund its Operation Ceasefire Project focused on reducing gun violence. Oakland has seen a 34% drop in gun homicides and a 39% reduction in non-fatal shootings since launching Operation Ceasefire in late 2012. [California Partnership for Safe Communities]

Mike McLively, Urban Gun Violence Initiative Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions:

“The gun violence intervention and prevention strategies supported by CalGRIP are a critical component of California’s overall violence prevention portfolio. We applaud the hundreds of Californians who used their voice to urge their elected officials to save CalGRIP and support  locally driven violence prevention strategies, which have again and again proven to be remarkably effective at stopping shootings and saving lives. As leaders in the California Legislature consider the upcoming budget, we hope they will remember the broad, bipartisan support among their constituents for this pivotal program.”

Ari Freilich, California Legislative Affairs Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions:

“In the past two decades, smart gun laws and life-saving gun violence prevention programs like CalGRIP have helped California cut its gun murder rate by an unprecedented 60 percent. California’s lawmakers have heard from hundreds of constituents across the State about the vital impact CalGRIP has had in their communities and about the need to continue this smart investment in our cities and young people. We urge California’s leaders to hear their voices and reauthorize this essential program.”

In March 2016, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released a groundbreaking report, Healing Communities in Crisis, highlighting the importance of locally driven violence prevention and intervention strategies—exactly the kind of solutions supported by CalGRIP funding. Earlier this year, attorneys from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions testified in support of the CalGRIP program.

To learn more about the CalGRIP program, or to arrange time to speak with an expert, contact Sean Simons at sean@responsiblesolutions.org.