The Break the Cycle of Violence Act establishes community violence as a public health issue and invests in evidence-based programs that are proven to break the cycles of gun violence and save lives.
Washington, D.C., September 22, 2022 – Today, Brady applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, H.R. 4118, with bipartisan support. This legislation would launch a nationwide strategy to invest in evidence-based, community violence reduction initiatives. Brady urges the Senate to now quickly take up and pass this bill. Brady and Team ENOUGH have been advocating for this bill since it was first introduced in 2019 by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV).
Brady President Kris Brown says:
“We need strong federal gun policies combined with community-based intervention and prevention programs if we are ever going to make headway in ending the epidemic of gun homicides in America. Sustained funding for evidence-based violence intervention is essential to reducing gun violence in disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities. We owe it to all the victims and survivors of gun violence — as well as those who live every day in fear of being shot — to invest in such programs. Along with millions of Americans, Brady calls on the Senate to swiftly pass this legislation. We thank Community Justice Action Fund and our allies in the #InvestInUS coalition for spearheading this win.”
Team ENOUGH Executive Council member Zeeshan Ali adds:
"Team ENOUGH is working to shed light on the gun violence experienced in Black and Brown communities, and amplifying the voices of young people of color. Gun violence is killing us. It’s that simple. Allocating resources to our communities is necessary to create safer, healthier neighborhoods, and by doing so, we can confront other social injustices that are magnified because of gun violence. We’re thankful that elected officials have taken action to invest in our communities and provide the resources we need to stop simply surviving and start thriving.”
About HR 4118: Break the Cycle of Violence Act
The Break the Cycle of Violence Act would establish federal grant programs to support violence intervention initiatives in communities disproportionately impacted by homicides and community violence — that is, communities that experience 20 or more homicides per year and have a homicide rate at least twice the national average, or communities that demonstrate a unique need for additional resources to intervene in gun and group-related violence.
The grants would be used to implement hospital-based violence intervention programs, evidence-based street outreach programs, and group violence intervention strategies.
The bill also requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish an Office of Community Violence Intervention to administer programs and activities related to violence intervention, a Community Violence Intervention Advisory Committee to advise and assist HHS, and a National Community Violence Response Center to provide training and technical assistance, coordinate research, and develop data collection policies. The bill also directs the Department of Labor to award grants for job training and workforce programs in these communities to connect young people to in-demand occupations.
CDC data has shown that 80% of gun homicides take place in urban environments, and they disproportionately impact young people of color. Young Black children and teens are 14 times more likely and Hispanic children and teens are three times more likely to be shot to death than their white peers. Violence intervention and strengthening gun laws are both critical to addressing this devastating reality. Research shows that being shot, shot at, or witnessing a shooting doubles the probability that a young person will commit violence within two years.
Beyond the staggering human toll of gun violence, communities that experience higher levels of violence also face enormous financial burdens through depopulation, reduced commercial activity, lower property values, and fewer jobs. Moreover, a single gun homicide costs on average over $440,000 in medical and criminal justice expenses – often paid with tax dollars - which account for $229 billion to cover the annual cost of gun violence in America.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.