Statement on Investment Alternatives to Policing to Save Lives from Violence

| Press Release

The Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition stands with those protesting across the country against the long-standing history of black lives being disproportionately impacted by police violence and community violence in America.

The Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition is composed of more than 50 community members including activists, social service providers, healthcare practitioners, survivors of gun violence, policy advocates, legislators, concerned citizens, violence prevention practitioners, researchers and scholars. The coalition meets weekly to develop policy recommendations, advocate for legislation, and funding to reduce violence, as well as promote system-wide changes and approaches necessary for communities most impacted by violence to thrive.

Maryland will not arrest or prosecute our way out of our challenges with violence. Many root causes of violence are the result of generational trauma, structural racism, denials of opportunity, and systemic under-investment in our state’s youth, families, and communities.

As policymakers and political leaders explore innovative ways to direct resources beyond policing, the Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition strongly recommends that funds for public safety be directed toward saving lives in black and brown communities most impacted by violence through investments in evidence-based programs. These programs not only reduce violence and enhance public safety, but also improve social and health outcomes across entire communities.

We recommend investing in four major areas to reduce community violence in Maryland:
• Funding Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Organizations
• Funding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Programs Targeting Those Most At Risk
• Funding Violence Survivor Support Services and Resources
• Funding Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs

Including these program areas and public health approaches in the larger discussions taking place is critical to finding a path toward improved public safety and beginning the long process of addressing the inequity in our criminal justice system.

Liz Banach
Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition Chair
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence

Greg Jackson
Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition Vice-Chair
Community Justice Action Fund

Advocates for Children and Youth
Brady United Against Gun Violence
Brady United, Maryland State Executive Committee
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Community Justice Action Fund
Critical Issues Forum
Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence
The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention
From Prison Cells To PhD Kevin L Cooper Foundation
Kyle Fischer, MD, MPH, Policy Director, The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence
Fatimah Loren Muhammad, Executive Director, The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention
Prevent Gun Violence Ministry at River Road UUC
Pride Center of Maryland
Reproductive Justice Inside
Joseph B. Richardson, Jr., PhD, Joel and Kim Feller Professor of African-American,
Studies and Medical Anthropology, Department of African-American Studies, Department of Anthropology, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Maryland College Park
Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center at UMB
Team Enough
Daniel Webster, Professor and Director, *Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research (*for identification purposes only, does not reflect a position of the Johns Hopkins University).