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FCNL Young Adults Call on Congress to Stop Community Violence

Every day, 321 people are shot in the United States. For decades policymakers have debated how to address the scourge of gun violence, often defaulting to a militarized police response. This solution has repeatedly failed, with sometimes fatal consequences. We need a new way forward, and a promising solution does exist. That’s where FCNL’s network of young adult advocates comes in.

Rising Crime Requires a New Approach: Community Violence Experts Brief Congress

“The police absolutely have a role in preventing violence, but we’ve tried that way for several years, and we see where we are today. We need new solutions,” said Marcus Ellis, the chief of staff for the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement in Washington, D.C.

Community members and leaders are searching for a solution as violent crime rises across the United States. Too often, the default response of politicians has been to pump more money into policing.

Violence Interrupters: A Key Element of Justice Reform

Traditionally, cities have responded to community-level violence by increasing the presence of a militarized police force. This solution has repeatedly failed. A new solution, one that comes from within the community itself, offers a new way forward: violence interrupters.

Violence Interrupters

Violence interrupters or “credible messengers” as they’re sometimes called identify those most likely to commit violence, they intercede, mentor, teach nonviolence, provide alternative thought processes, and alter the group norms that would sustain or perpetuate violence.