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Published on March 29, 2024
Pennsylvania's PA Peace Alliance Marks Progress in Battle Against Gun Violence with $40M In GrantsSource: Google Street View

A year into its inception, the PA Peace Alliance is reportedly making significant strides in gun violence prevention and community safety across Pennsylvania. Crafted by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and supported by partnerships with WestEd’s Justice and Prevention Research Center and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), this initiative has extended its support to over 240 groups dedicated to curbing gun violence.

"We’re proud to support groups working on the frontlines of violence prevention and intervention through the PA Peace Alliance," PCCD Executive Director Mike Pennington is quoted, in a statement obtained by the official press release. Amid an uptick in gun and community violence, the formation has provided critical trainings, technical assistance, and opportunities for collaboration.

In its first year, the PA Peace Alliance has delivered one-on-one technical assistance to 50 organizations. It also established a statewide community of practice that now includes more than 240 groups. These organizations engage to share best practices and confront common challenges. Additionally, the Alliance has facilitated 244 technical assistance meetings and calls, promoted over 580 educational events, and served as a repository for over 370 resources, including webinars and podcast recordings.

Highlighting the real-world impact, Ms. Cyrise L. Dixon, CASA Community Violence Intervention Coordinator, told the Pennsylvania media outlet, "The resources and assistance provided by PA Peace Alliance have proven invaluable to CASA as we navigate this new arena of services for youth in the City of Chester." She credits the Alliance with enabling CASA to enhance their service delivery and amplify community safety efforts, as provided through the free access to webinars, research, and innovative solutions to violence.

This week, the PCCD announced a hefty $40 million in VIP grant funding approval for 64 organizations combatting the gun violence epidemic. Further details on these projects can be found in the Project Summary document on the PCCD website. These funds come as part of Governor Shapiro's proposal to allot more than $100 million to confront gun violence in the 2024-25 state budget, which also includes plans to establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the PCCD.

"Such a significant investment provides a unique opportunity to have a lasting and meaningful impact," stated Lori Toscano, Director of Justice Technical Assistance at WestEd’s Justice & Prevention Research Center. As Pennsylvania seeks to push the boundaries in the fight against gun violence, the vitality of initiatives like the PA Peace Alliance could very well serve as a lifeline to communities seeking reprieve from the torrential impact of this modern American plague.