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Friday, June 11th, 2021

DOJ announces initiative to reduce violent crime

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is initiating an endeavor designed to address the rise of major violent crimes nationwide.

“We renew our commitment to reducing violent crime and building strong communities where all Americans are safe,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “The Deputy Attorney General is issuing a comprehensive strategy to deploy our federal resources in the most effective way, disrupting the most dangerous threats and supporting the ground-level efforts of local law enforcement. In this endeavor, we will engage our communities as critical partners. And through our grantmaking, we will support programming at all stages – from the earliest violence interruption strategies to post-conviction reentry services.”

Garland said the work establishes a set of four fundamental principles to be applied Department-wide to guide violent crime reduction by building trust and earning legitimacy; investing in prevention and intervention programs; targeting enforcement efforts and priorities; and measuring results.

In addition to the 94 U.S. Attorney Offices, the principles will guide the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).

Grant-making components that include the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC), and litigating divisions, such as the Criminal Division, will also be involved, per authorities.

The DOJ acknowledged there is no generic solution, and each jurisdiction’s needs will vary based on the nature of violent crimes and the ability of local criminal justice systems to respond.