The Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 833, legislation creating a grant fund to support Group Violence Intervention programs around the Commonwealth in the model of Project Ceasefire, also known as the Boston Miracle.
Ceasefire is unique in violence prevention programs in a number of ways, not the least of which is decades of data supporting its efficacy. Ceasefire led to a 63 percent decrease in youth homicide in Boston, a 42 percent reduction in gun homicide in Stockton, Ca., and a 34 percent reduction in homicide in Indianapolis.
Ceasefire brings together community groups, parents, pastors, law enforcement, prosecutors and others to identify the tiny percentage of people in a community most at risk to commit acts of gun violence and interrupt them before they act. The sole focus of the program is homicide and serious violence.
“Every life we lose due to senseless violence is a tragedy. Ceasefire is proven to save lives, which is why I was proud to patron this bill,” said Public Safety Committee Chairman Tony Wilt, R-Rockingham. “As I said during last week’s debate, our communities don’t need more studies, they need action. Ceasefire is the action our communities need.”
“One of our primary obligations as stewards of taxpayer funds is to ensure that we get results for every dollar we spend,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach. “Ceasefire is unique among anti-violence programs in that it has decades of positive data to back it up. I’m proud to say that the House Budget will reflect a significant investment in this grant program.”
“Today’s successful vote is the culmination of a multi-year effort to bring proven methods of reducing violence to our communities,” House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. “House Bill 833, better known as Project Ceasefire, has one goal – stop homicides by identifying individuals who cause violence in their communities and working with them to change their lives. Every life is precious. With Ceasefire, we can turn the tide and reduce the number of tragedies in Virginia.”