NJ announces funding to save hospital program for victims of violence
New Jersey has announced millions of dollars in gap funding that will at least temporarily save a hospital-based program that aims to protect and assist victims of gun violence and other crimes.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin revealed on Monday that $10 million in American Recovery Plan funds will go toward the state's nine Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs, which team up with community organizations in order to reduce the cycle of gun violence and create a safety plan for victims upon release from medical care.
"Make no mistake — this investment in our HVIP initiative will save lives," Platkin said. "Thanks to the governor's leadership, New Jersey will continue its groundbreaking efforts in violence intervention programming by disrupting the cycles of violence before they start."
First launched in 2020, the program had been relying on federal Victims of Crime Act dollars in order to operate. The state recently learned that the funding would no longer be available, and advocates later called on the state to come up with ways to keep the initiative afloat.
"It is reassuring that the governor and his team have made the necessary investment to keep existing HVIPs operable for the rest of the year," said Will Simpson, of the New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition. "The NJVIPC will support any and all efforts to establish more expansive, long-term funding for a community-centered public safety ecosystem."
Beyond gap funding, the coalition has asked New Jersey officials to devote $80 million in federal funds to the programs over the next three years.
In 2021, Murphy and the Attorney General's Office announced the creation of a state-funded grant program to run community-based violence intervention programs. Those grants currently fund more than 20 community organizations in 15 municipalities.