WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today provided states and localities with additional guidance on how the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds included in the American Rescue Plan Act can be used to reduce and respond to violent crime – particularly gun violence – by investing in community policing, community violence interruption, and other programs that are proven to reduce crime. The effort is a part of the Biden Administration’s interagency effort to support public safety in communities across the country.
“These resources provide an unprecedented opportunity for states and localities to invest in a strong, equitable recovery from the pandemic and recession,” said Treasury’s Chief Recovery Officer Jacob Leibenluft. “We hope that with this guidance, communities can use these funds to build a holistic, evidence-based approach to combatting violence, especially gun violence, through strategies ranging from subsidized employment and behavioral health programming, to Community Violence Intervention programs and community policing.”
State and local governments have already taken advantage of the broad and flexible guidance Treasury outlined when the Interim Final Rule was released in May, and numerous communities have already outlined comprehensive public safety priorities that will be funded by the American Recovery Plan Act.
The guidance released today includes, but is not limited to, the following eligible uses to increase public safety and prevent and respond to violent crime:
- Hiring law enforcement officers or paying overtime, where the funds are directly focused on advancing community policing strategies in those communities experiencing an increase in gun violence associated with the pandemic.
- Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs, including capacity-building efforts at CVI programs like funding and training additional intervention workers. These programs use evidence-based strategies including focused deterrence, street outreach, and hospital-based violence intervention models, complete with wraparound services such as behavioral therapy, trauma recovery, job training, education, housing and relocation services, and financial assistance.
- Subsidized jobs, job training, and wraparound services. This includes Summer Youth Employment Programs, which have been shown to reduce violence and criminal justice involvement for participating young people, and programs to support employment of formerly-incarcerated individuals.
- Additional enforcement efforts to reduce gun trafficking, and additional resources to clear court backlogs.
- Mental health services and substance use disorder services, including for individuals experiencing trauma exacerbated by the pandemic.
- School-based social-emotional support and other mental health services.
- Referrals to trauma recovery services for crime victims.
The Treasury Department is also working with the Department of Labor to help employers leverage the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to provide employment for formerly-incarcerated individuals.