Washington, D.C. — As the United States continues to grapple with post-pandemic economic instability and rising violent crime driven by easy access to guns, many state and local governments have expanded their community safety efforts with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). A new issue brief released today by the Center for American Progress outlines how ARPA—a legislative package focused on COVID-19 relief—has helped bolster community safety and reduce crime. The brief highlights the crime reduction strategies that state and local governments have invested in through ARPA, such as community-based violence intervention programs, alternative crisis response, affordable housing, youth support, and reentry services.
“ARPA has been invaluable in helping states and cities develop and expand comprehensive, evidence-based strategies to address rising crime,” said Akua Amaning, director for Criminal Justice Reform at CAP and author of the brief. “Going forward, states and cities should continue to prioritize sustainable community-based efforts to prevent and respond to violent crime and ensure everyone feels safe in their communities.”
The brief outlines key examples of how ARPA funding has supported effective strategies to address the root causes of crime and prevent violence before it happens:
- Indianapolis committed $45 million toward community violence intervention programs that will implement evidence-based practices to prevent violent crime before it happens.
- Los Angeles County has committed $18.5 million of its ARPA funding to their Alternative Crisis Response Project, which will improve the coordination of crisis calls, field responses, and crisis facility care.
- Denton, Texas, has allocated ARPA funding for several housing assistance programs, including $5 million to create a facility to house people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, $550,000 for hotel voucher programs, and additional funding for eviction prevention programs.
- Boston used $3 million in ARPA funds to develop a workforce development program for young adults and returning citizens interested in environment-related job opportunities.
Click here to read: “The American Rescue Plan Has Helped State and Local Governments Invest in Community Safety” by Akua Amaning
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