WASHINGTON, DC–Today, attorneys from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the below statements to encourage the California legislature to reauthorize funding for the California Gang Reduction, Intervention & Prevention (CalGRIP) program.

Mike McLively, Staff Attorney, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions:

“The gun violence intervention and prevention strategies supported by CalGRIP are an important part of California’s overall violence prevention portfolio. Now is certainly not the time to pull back on these strategies. Other leading states on the issue of gun violence prevention, like New York, are increasingly committing state dollars to programs like this. If California is going to stay on top of gun violence, then we need to find a way to restore this critical funding source.”

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

“Commonsense gun policy reform has helped California cut its gun murder rate by a remarkable 60% in the last two decades. This state is a leader for public safety, but our work is not over. Particularly in underserved urban communities, a comprehensive preventive response is also required to address the root causes of violence and to interrupt entrenched cycles of shootings and retaliation. CalGRIP represents a critical, cost-effective investment in lifesaving counter-violence programs and works to ensure all Californians may live free from fear of violence. We’re proud to stand up for this important work today.”

About 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 youth identified as at-risk, and by developing coordinated agency responses to group-related retaliatory violence.

With its local matching requirement, CalGRIP has leveraged more than $18 million per year for violence intervention and prevention programs over the last decade. Eliminating this program could have dire consequences, particularly in under-resourced urban communities that need stronger and more targeted investment from the state to prevent gun violence.

About the Success of the CalGRIP Program

  • CalGRIP has provided Los Angeles $3 million over the past 3 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In less than two years, between January 2015 and September 2016, CalGRIP-funded programs provided more than 511,000 hours of prevention or intervention services to 54,750 Californians at risk of perpetrating or being victimized by violence.