City Council to Consider Use of Grant Funds for Violence Prevention and Reduction

On February 21, 2023, the Champaign City Council will consider an agreement to accept a $334,440 grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) through the federal Violence Prevention and Reduction Program. The grant funding was appropriated for the City of Champaign by State Representative Carol Ammons.

If the agreement is approved, the grant will be used to support the Community Gun Violence Reduction Blueprint’s goals to prevent and reduce gun violence and promote public safety. As proposed, the grant funding would be used to support Trauma and Resilience Initiative’s work connecting impacted community members with resources to address underlying risk factors for violence. Grant funds would also be used to support the faith-based mentoring component of the Blueprint.

Representative Carol Ammons said, “Bringing down violent crime rates across Illinois through comprehensive and compassionate public safety legislation has been my top priority in the House. Part of these efforts is giving local activists, organizations, and neighborhoods the tools they need to intervene in tense community situations and treat the underlying issues. I am happy that my advocacy has garnered the resources necessary to support the City of Champaign to help heal our high-risk communities. This money will go a long way in empowering the local agencies and leaders who want to see a better future for their community and the diverse group of people who constitute it.”

Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen adds, “Using federal grant funds to support the implementation of the Community Gun Violence Reduction Blueprint is a great opportunity for the City. I’d like to thank Representative Ammons for her great assistance in securing the grant. By adopting the Blueprint, the Council has shown its commitment to addressing the root cause of violence and providing critical support to those it has impacted. By continuing to engage with our Blueprint partners, while also working with our churches that have built trusted relationships in impacted neighborhoods, we can continue to build upon recent successes and solve this problem.”

The Violence Prevention and Reduction (VPR) Program is a Federal Domestic Assistance Program under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The program provides sub-awards to agencies for violence prevention and reduction services and strategies, to mediate and intervene with conflicts, and provide other supports to reduce gun violence. ICJCIA is the State of Illinois administering agency for the VPR.