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Contra Costa Health Gets $1.5 Million Violence Prevention Grant

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(Image courtesy of the Department of Justice)

By Michael J. Fitzgerald

Contra Costa Health announced Oct. 4 it had been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help a countywide effort to develop evidence-based, public health strategies for reducing community violence.

The funding from DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative will support a CCH program that applies social services to populations disproportionately affected by violent crime. The aim is to improve outcomes, particularly in the eastern and western regions of Contra Costa County.

“Contra Costa Health has been working to prevent community violence since 1983,” Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, said. “This grant will inform the strategic vision of the Violence Prevention Program going forward.”

She thanked the DOJ for its investment in efforts to decrease violence-related injury. “The grant will increase perceptions of safety, and building strong partnerships and relationships within the community.”

A team that includes community stakeholders will assess the causes of violent crime in communities disproportionately affected by it. The team will also work with cities, law enforcement and community-based organizations to develop a plan to reduce violence-related injury and death, and improve physical and behavioral health, health equity, and perceptions of safety.

>>>Read: Richmond’s ONS Awarded $6 Million to Continue Gun Violence Prevention

“Contra Costa Health is committed to eliminating violence and inequities in our communities. We applaud the efforts of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program for this investment in our communities that suffer from the epidemic of violence,” said Gilbert Salinas, CCH’s chief equity officer. “This funding will be used to save lives across our county.”

Contra Costa’s multi-year plan will focus on development of social-emotional learning programs for at-risk youth, building workforce development opportunities, including career paths, and working with communities to improve the physical environment, neighborhood appearance and community engagement.

CCH will partner with the nonprofit National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform in the grant’s first year for research and planning assistance. That will include an analysis of the county’s existing violence prevention efforts.

The CCH’s Public Health division grant is among $100 million in awards announced by the DOJ last month to support community violence intervention efforts.

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