WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) have introduced legislation to expand hospital-based violence intervention services and prevention programs for survivors of violent crimes. The Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act (S. 2422) will help establish and expand such programs nationwide and ensure health and trauma professionals are delivering the care that survivors need in the aftermath of violence. Similar legislation, led by Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.-2) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.-16), passed by the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in May.
Hospital-based violence intervention programs provide services for victims of violent crime while they are recovering from their injuries to reduce the likelihood that they commit gun violence or are victimized in the future. These programs are proven to be among the most effective strategies for reducing gun violence.
“We can break the cycle of violence so that recovering victims of violent crimes do not become victims again and again,” said Senator Cardin. “Violence intervention programs work. They have a proven track record of reducing violent crime, recidivism, hospitalizations and making our communities safer. Expanding federal investment in intervention and prevention will make a lasting difference in cities like Baltimore City across the country.”
“As the son of a police chief and as a physician working in a full-service hospital, I can attest to the issue of cyclical violence,” said Senator Marshall. “Law enforcement and health care providers see two sides of the same coin, and we must work together to develop practices that will decrease re-hospitalization as a result of crime. Our bipartisan legislation would help enable hospitals to coordinate better and develop best practices in prevention and intervention across the country.”
S. 2422 establishes a federal grant program under the Department of Health and Human Services to help states create or expand hospital-based violence intervention or prevention programs and study the effectiveness of these programs to determine best practices. Grants will be awarded from $250,000 to $500,000 per grantee, over a three-year period.
The Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, American College of Surgeons, American Hospital Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of School Resource Officers, National League of Cities, Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, National District Attorneys Association and Cure Violence.
“Trauma surgeons frequently treat patients who are injured due to cyclical violence,” said Eileen Bulger, MD, FACS, who is the Chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. “Better research into more effective methods of breaking this cycle are needed, and the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2021 will increase research funding for hospital-based violence intervention programs. The best practices and lessons learned will save lives. The American College of Surgeons appreciates the leadership of Senators Cardin and Marshall for introducing this important legislation.”
“This bill provides critical funding at a time when cities desperately need federal support to implement evidence-based violence prevention strategies. Hospital-based violence intervention programs are crucial resources in addressing the skyrocketing rates of gun violence and the unacceptable level of violence impacting our communities and disrupting the health ecosystem,” says Fatimah Loren Dreier, Executive Director of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, a group working to build a national network of hospital violence intervention programs.
Click HERE for a one-page summary of S. 2422.
Click HERE to read the bill text.
Senator Cardin introduced similar legislation in the 116th Congress as the End the Cycle of Violence Act.