For Immediate Release: August 15, 2023
Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance
– Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director
TRENTON — Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced today that $15 million would be made available through a competitive grant process to support Community-Based Violence Intervention (CBVI) Programs throughout the state. Funding for this grant cycle would begin in 2024.
These resources deepen the historic and continued investment by the Murphy Administration into CBVI programming, which now stands at $40 million since 2021. Funding for this initiative is provided through the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Act, and includes $5 million from the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Fund which is dedicated to reinvestment in communities most impacted by cannabis criminalization.
CBVI programs use interventions and protective activities in communities and among populations associated with risk factors for exposure to violence. Through this public health approach to interrupt cycles of violence, and with a focus on reducing gun violence, CBVI initiatives include a range of strategies: mentoring programs, street outreach, trauma support services, de-escalation among high-risk individuals, targeted afterschool programs, job training, and more.
Attorney General Platkin has emphasized the importance of violence intervention work at the community, grassroots level as part of the Office’s overall public safety strategy. Last year, Attorney General Platkin created the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA) to elevate and formalize violence intervention and victim services work within the Department of Law and Public Safety. The CBVI program is administered by the Department and programmatically overseen by VIVA.
“For far too long, pockets of our state have been scarred by violence. And, since day one of our Administration, we have been committed to solving this problem,” said Governor Murphy. “Through initiatives such as the Community-Based Violence Intervention Programs, we have made great strides on that pledge. I am incredibly grateful for Attorney General Platkin and his team’s steadfast dedication to reducing violence in our state and creating a safer community for all.”
“Keeping New Jersey’s residents safe is my top priority. Our comprehensive approach to public safety focuses support for community-led violence intervention efforts that are disrupting cycles of violence at the ground level,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Thanks to the leadership and support of Governor Murphy, we are continuing the State’s historic investment and commitment to this essential work. These funds continue to put resources in the hands of grass roots organizations so that communities are part of our public safety mission.”
“Our CBVI partners have roots and credibility in the communities they serve, which is fundamental to this public health strategy,” said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance. “Creating opportunities for them to do this work is a critical piece to building our public safety infrastructure.”
The 2024 funding puts a special emphasis and priority on certain violence intervention programs known as “tertiary services.” These services are recognized as providing the most immediate benefit in reducing and responding to violence. To promote this work and increase capacity for it statewide, this CBVI cycle raises the maximum grant award for tertiary services from $500,000 to $750,000 and rewards applicants that demonstrate a history of success in running violence intervention programming.
Overall, this program, now in its third year of funding, supports the State’s work in developing a continuum of violence prevention services, from targeted services for at-risk youth to street intervention services that are grounded in a public health approach to violence prevention.
CBVI Grant Opportunities
The Department of Law and Public Safety is now accepting applications from community service providers for CBVI work. Detailed information can be found in the Notice of Availability of Funds (NOAF) that that is being released to the public today.
The NOAF and associated grant documents can be accessed here.
The deadline to apply for funding is September 26, 2023.
As explained in the NOAF, applicants can apply under one of two funding categories:
Tertiary Prevention (violence intervention) service organizations have an award cap of $750,000. Organizations seeking support for these services will identify strategies that attempt to intervene with those already engaged in violent behavior or at high risk of violence due to past victimization or as a result of retaliation. This funding will support organizations that provide intervention services like de-escalation and mediation between individuals and groups, outreach to high risk individuals, mentorship, and have “street team” or street outreach operations.
Primary Prevention or Secondary Prevention service organizations have an award cap of $500,000. These proposals will support violence prevention strategies that serve individuals who are at risk due to living in communities with high rates of community violence, or due to a risk factor like involvement in the juvenile justice system or having a family member who is gang-involved.
Interested applicants are encouraged to RSVP for an August 30 pre-application webinar by August 28. A recording of the webinar will be made available by September 1. Registration information can be found here and in the NOAF.
The CBVI funding reflects a key component of the Murphy Administration’s efforts to tackle the causes of violent crime. Under Attorney General Platkin’s leadership, the CBVI program provides community service providers with funding for the development and implementation of violence intervention and prevention programming for communities impacted by higher than average rates of violence, with a focus on gun violence.
Currently, the State’s CBVI grants directly fund 31 community organizations in every region of the State, supporting prevention and intervention strategies that help communities reduce community violence by developing healing relationships among the groups and individuals who are at the center of gun violence.