A House appropriations subcommittee has restored more than $100 million in funds for gang prevention programs nationwide and added $18 million to pay for additional federal agents and to launch a National Gang Intelligence Center, the Washington Post reports. The White House had targeted nearly $60 million in Juvenile Accountability Block Grants for elimination. panel yesterday restored all $60 million. A new program proposed by the White House to replace the block grants was erased. “We wanted to give the local [authorities] the necessary resources to deal with this issue,” said committee chairman Frank Wolf (R-Va.)
A national group of police chiefs, prosecutors, and crime victims criticized the White House this month for slashing money to programs that reduced gang-related homicides and other violence in cities including Boston, Philadelphia and Baton Rouge, La. The group, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, released a study showing that targeting at-risk youths and their families has had tangible effects on crime. In two Philadelphia police districts where the block grant money was used, youth homicides dropped by 40 percent with aggressive use of probation officers, street mentors and “expedited punishment” to redirect gang members away from violence. Fight Crime noted that Title V local delinquency prevention grants also were slated for cuts, to $37 million from $79 million. The subcommittee yesterday restored proposed funding to $80 million.