New Federal Strategy to Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Public Safety: What States Need to Know

July 9, 2021

On June 23, President Biden unveiled a new strategy to direct significant federal funding and support to strengthen state and local violence-reduction efforts.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) presents a considerable opportunity for states and local communities to support this initiative. Updated federal guidance has outlined eligible uses for the ARP’s $350 billion in flexible State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and $1.22 billion through the Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which include:

  • Advancing community policing strategies
  • Supporting economic mobility and improving outcomes for people in the justice system through educational and workforce development services, such as subsidized employment programs
  • Broadening support services, such as housing, health care, and substance use disorder treatment for victims of crime, young people, and people who have been incarcerated
  • Investing in evidence-based Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs—localized strategies to reduce violence through means other than incarceration, such as street outreach, trained mediators, and hospital-based intervention programs

In addition to the ARP funding, several other federal funding streams are available to support violence-reduction efforts, including the following:

  • $5.2 billion to fund CVI programs through the federal budget process and the American Jobs Plan
  • $89 million through the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program and $20 million through the Workforce Pathways for Youth to invest in youth workforce development services
  • $1.22 billion through the Department of Education’s Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants and $1.26 billion in 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants to serve students in CVI programs
  • $85.5 million through Department of Labor programs, such as the Pathway Home initiative and Young Adult Reentry Partnership, that help formerly incarcerated individuals find employment and successfully reenter their communities
  • Supporting jurisdictions’ use of the Department of Housing’s Community Development Block Grant funds to support CVI programs
  • The Office of Personnel Management will identify barriers that formerly incarcerated individuals face to federal employment and will consider creating a new hiring authority specifically for these individuals.

Check out our ARP guide that has the latest on how state and local leaders can use this funding opportunity to advance key criminal justice and public safety priorities.

About the Author


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Jamal Nelson
Program Director, Government Affairs
Jamal Nelson cultivates and maintains relationships with members of Congress and the administration and acts as a liaison to various coalitions and groups to effectively implement the legislative priorities of the CSG Justice Center. Before joining the CSG Justice Center
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in 2009, Jamal served as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he worked on international trade issues. Jamal received his BS in political science from Southern Connecticut State University.
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