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Invest in violence prevention in the FY25 budget

Community based violence prevention programs are some of the strongest tools we have available to disrupt the cycle of violence — but these programs need funding to be able to serve their communities. Please see below for a list of the budget line items and funding levels we hope to see in the FY25 budget, as well as a brief description of what each line item funds.

4000-0005 Safe and Successful Youth Initiative - fund at $13,000,000

  • SSYI allocates money to 11 cities that have the highest juvenile crime rates, targeting youth aged 17-24 that are shown to have “proven risk” of becoming involved with violence. The funding provides case management, behavioral health services, educational and vocational support, and other wraparound services. SSYI has repeatedly been proven to reduce rates of criminal justice involvement for the youth served, and to reduce rates of violent crime for communities.

  • This line item also allocates $50,000 to the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence to operate our comprehensive educational programming on gun violence and gun violence prevention throughout the Commonwealth. We respectfully request that this amount be included in the FY25 budget.

4590-1504 Neighborhood based gun and violent crime prevention pilot program - fund at $15,000,000

  • Funds awarded to 10 different organizations across the Commonwealth to prevent and reduce gun violence among young adults. The funding goes towards community-based organizations that focus on the root causes of gun violence. These organizations work with individuals who have been deemed at the highest risk of experiencing gun violence, providing comprehensive services such as educational programs, vocational training, behavioral health, mentoring, and housing support. Additionally, funded programs engage youth in community mobilization activities to foster civic engagement and elicit longer term change.

4590-1506 Violence prevention grants - fund at $5,000,000

  • Funds a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Public Health to support the establishment of a comprehensive youth violence prevention program. This supports various evidence based programs aimed at violence prevention around the state. Grants awarded under this program go to community-based organizations for activities designed to prevent behaviors that put young people at risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of violence. Grants support programs that use a positive youth development framework, and include activities such as mentoring, life skills and college prep programs, as well as other efforts to promote resiliency, help youth develop positive relationships, and increase civic and community involvement. Grants are targeted to communities and youth populations with a higher prevalence of risk factors.

7002-0012 Summer jobs program for at-risk youth (Youth Works) - fund at $28,375,000

  • A state-funded program that provides short-term, paid employment opportunities for youth and young adults to support them as they develop the skills needed to find and keep permanent jobs, practicing professional skills and learning about the next steps in their educational and career pathways. Providing young people with employment opportunities directly addresses some of the root causes of gun violence: lack of opportunity and economic inequity.

8000-0655 Recidivism reduction for youth and young adults - fund at $10,000,000

  • This is a grant program to provide support to youth 18-25 who are leaving incarceration and returning to their communities. Young adults receive assistance with benefits, housing behavioral health services, case management, and vocational support, administered through the Department of Youth Services. Research has found that re-entry programs that focus on promoting positive development for youth have seen up to 40% reductions in recidivism, and since many youth are involved with the criminal justice system related to firearms/violence, this by definition will reduce further gun violence in their home communities

4513-1098 Statewide support services for survivors of homicide victims - fund at $1,000,000

  • The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute provides comprehensive support and outreach services to those who lose loved ones to homicide. Their programs include burial assistance, survivor outreach, grief counseling, and other supportive services. Caring for those who lose family members to homicide is an integral part of the work to stop the cycle of violence.

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