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Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Gun Violence Prevention Technical Assistance Initiative Making a Difference in Pennsylvania Communities

03/29/2024

Harrisburg, PA - This month marks one year since the launch of PA Peace Alliance, a free, innovative technical assistance resource for groups working to address gun violence across Pennsylvania communities. Created by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), in partnership with WestEd’s Justice and Prevention Research Center and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the initiative has supported more than 240 groups working to address, prevent, and reduce community and gun violence in its first year.

“We’re proud to support groups working on the frontlines of violence prevention and intervention through the PA Peace Alliance,” said PCCD Executive Director Mike Pennington. “At a time when gun and community violence is devastating Pennsylvania communities, organizations need our help. The training, technical assistance, and collaboration provided through the PA Peace Alliance has been instrumental in supporting community groups working to make our communities safer.”

Last year, the PA Peace Alliance and corresponding statewide community of practice launched as part of PCCD's Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Grants program. Through the initiative, PCCD grantees and other interested organizations and stakeholders are able to access high-quality, comprehensive training and technical assistance resources at no cost. In its first year, the PA Peace Alliance has:

  • Provided one-on-one technical assistance to 50 organizations;
  • Accepted more than 240 groups into the voluntary statewide community of practice, to interact, share insights and best practices, and problem-solve concerns;
  • Held 244 technical assistance meetings and phone calls with grantees;
  • Promoted more than 580 webinars, meetings, and events to expand groups’ violence intervention and prevention knowledge base;
  • Served as a central hub for violence prevention and intervention resources by providing more than 370 resources including research, webinar recordings, videos, podcasts; and
  • Highlighted 260 news stories from the violence intervention and prevention field across the Commonwealth and nationally.

“Court Appointed Special Advocates for Youth (CASA) has expanded services to include a focus on the reduction of community and gun violence. 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,” said Ms. Cyrise L. Dixon, CASA Community Violence Intervention Coordinator. “The totality of resources made available to us at no cost is enormous. The webinars, research, accessibility, and exposure to innovative approaches to the work have helped CASA be more informed and confident, enabling us to better serve our youth and make our community safer. Thank you, PA Peace Alliance!”

This week, PCCD announced a total of $40 million in VIP grant funding has been approved for 64 organizations working to address the epidemic of gun violence. More information about the projects including county/ies served, project details, and approved amounts can be found in the Project Summary document on PCCD’s website. These organizations, and others who applied under the solicitation, are encouraged to utilize the resources and technical assistance provided through the PA Peace Alliance.

“It has been an honor to support grantees and PCCD in their efforts to address gun violence across the Commonwealth,” said Lori Toscano, Director of Justice Technical Assistance at WestEd’s Justice & Prevention Research Center. “Such a significant investment provides a unique opportunity to have a lasting and meaningful impact. Through the PA Peace Alliance, we will continue to provide resources, connection, and coordination to continue building a sustainable statewide infrastructure.”

All Pennsylvanians deserve to be and feel safe in their communities. That’s why Governor Shapiro has proposed more than $100 million to address gun violence in the 2024-25 state budget, including increasing resources for PCCD’s successful VIP program and $1 million to stand up the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within PCCD. The Shapiro-Davis Administration will continue to fight to ensure Pennsylvanians can live in communities free from gun violence.

Groups interested in requesting technical assistance can use the Request Technical Assistance form. Learn more about the initiative by visiting the PA Peace Alliance website.


MEDIA CONTACT: Ali Gantz - algantz@pa.gov


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