SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, applauded the California Legislature for authorizing funding for the California Violence Intervention Prevention Program (CalVIP), formerly CalGRIP.

The 2017 California budget, which now heads to Governor Brown’s desk, includes $9.2 million for CalVIP, which is one of the only sources of state-level funding for locally driven violence prevention strategies. Earlier this year, attorneys from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions testified in support of CalVIP.

Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:

“Today marks a major victory for the State of California and the many communities here who benefit from the gun violence intervention and prevention strategies supported by CalVIP. We want to thank the hundreds of Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence supporters who contacted their legislators and urged them to continue this impactful investment in our cities and young people. This funding will not only help make California safer, it will help save lives.”

Peter Ambler, Executive Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions:

“We applaud the California Legislature for including funding for CalVIP in the 2017 budget. Programs like CalVIP are what help make California a national leader in public safety. We look forward to Governor Brown reauthorizing funding for this vital initiative.”

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:

  • The program has provided Los Angeles $3 million over the past three years to help fund its Gang Reduction and Youth Development project.Los Angeles has seen a 38% reduction in homicides and 46% reduction in aggravated assaults since launching the project in 2007. [FBI Uniform Crime Reports]

  • Over the past three years, the program 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 more than 50% reduction in fatal shootings since ONS launched in 2007. [Office of Neighborhood Safety]

  • The program has provided $1.5 million to Oakland to fund Operation Ceasefire, the city’s project to reduce 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]

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 CalVIP funding.

To learn more about the CalVIP program, or to arrange time to speak with an expert, contact Sean Simons at [email protected].