June 23, 2021

CONTACT: Will Matthews, Californians for Safety and Justice, (909) 261-1398; [email protected] 

LOS ANGELES – In response to the White House announcement of a comprehensive strategy that partners with 15 cities, including Los Angeles, to stem increased violence, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) released the following statement from Tinisch Hollins, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, a survivor of crime and CSSJ leader:

“Although crime has been trending downward across America for at least two decades, and is currently at a historic low, the conditions created by COVID-19 over the past year exacerbated a violence crisis that has been building for years and is worsening this summer in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. The majority of survivors of violent crime believe that simply responding to crime after it’s already occurred doesn’t work—because that approach fails to prevent harm from occurring in the first place. 

“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of a comprehensive strategy to combat violence by funding preventative measures that are proven to stop the cycle of crime, better support survivors of violence, and make communities safer. 

“Crime survivors in California celebrate Los Angeles’ commitment to use a portion of its American Rescue Plan funds to increase investments in community violence intervention infrastructure. As one of the 15 cities who has made this commitment, Los Angeles should use recovery dollars to re-fund programs that were cut due to pandemic-related revenue shortfalls, like crime victim services, reentry assistance, and trauma recovery services. 

“We have made significant strides in recent years transforming our justice system into one that prioritizes the needs of communities and prevents crime and harm from occurring in the first place, and as a result we know what works and what doesn’t to protect our neighborhoods from harm. We need immediate and targeted investments in community-based initiatives that are best equipped to work with our most vulnerable populations. Los Angeles city leaders should also use these funds to make new, immediate investments in evidence-based community violence interventions, summer programming including employment and mentoring for youth, mental health, re-entry programs, and trauma recovery services.

“The California chapter of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice represents more than 10,100 diverse survivors of crime and violence. Together, we know that cities and states choosing to shift funds away from the criminal justice system and toward essential services for communities most impacted by COVID-19 will have a major positive impact on community safety.”