B007 Investment in Community Violence Intervention to Prevent Gun Violence
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
That the 80th General Convention commend investment in evidence-based community violence intervention programs and strategies that address gun violence as a public health issue; improve physical environments; strengthen anti-violence social norms; engage and support youth; reduce substance abuse; mitigate financial stress; reduce the harmful effects of the justice process; and confront the proliferation of guns; and be it further
Resolved, that the 80th General Convention call upon the Congress and the executive branch to allocate significant federal funding for evidence-based community violence intervention programs and strategies; and be it further
Resolved, that the Office of Government Relations, Episcopal Public Policy Network, dioceses, congregations and individual Episcopalians be encouraged to advocate for funding and public policy to support community violence intervention programs and strategies that have been proven to reduce gun violence.
In November 2020, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center released a report, “Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence.” In it, the Center identified seven evidence-based strategies for reducing community violence:
- Improve the physical environment
- Strengthen anti-violence social norms and peer relationships
- Engage and support youth
- Reduce substance abuse
- Mitigate financial stress
- Reduce the harmful effects of the justice process
- Confront the gun problem
These strategies, the report notes, are “focused on community-level change with the potential to achieve durable, scalable effects.”
Investment in community violence intervention is being pursued at the federal level with the creation in 2021 of the White House Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Collaborative, a 16-jurisdiction cohort of mayors, law enforcement, community violence prevention experts, and philanthropic leaders committed to using public funding to increase investment in community violence intervention. Other mechanisms for investing in evidence-based community violence also exist at the local, state and federal levels. This resolution would strengthen the ability of the Office of Government Relations and Episcopalians across the church to advocate for public investments in strategies that are proven to reduce gun violence in communities.