Justice Department announces nearly $80 million funding bill to help communities fight violent crime

The Justice Department is set to invest nearly $80 million in additional funding to support community violence intervention programs across the country as part of the federal government’s multifaceted strategy to counter years of rising crime rates, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday.

At the same time, Garland said federal law enforcement officials are turning their attention to reducing violence in St. Louis, Missouri; Jackson, Mississippi; and Hartford, Connecticut, as part of an ongoing initiative to surge resources to areas experiencing spikes in crime.

Homicides decreased nationwide by 13% in 2023, according to FBI statistics that Garland highlighted while speaking in Chicago. Overall, federal data indicate a 6% decrease in violent crime in communities across the country in 2023 compared to 2022.

Although he acknowledged that “there is still so much more to do,” the attorney general credited community violence intervention programs with some of the decreases in crime rates. These initiatives — funded by Justice Department grants — use evidence-based practices and data to work to end cycles of violence in communities deemed most likely to either commit or be victimized by violent crime.