Mayfield-Supported Measure to Combat Gang Violence Advances out of Committee
Waukegan, IL - State Rep. Rita Mayfield is co-sponsoring legislation to assist local communities in obtaining funding to continue gang prevention programs. The measure was recently approved by the House Judiciary II Criminal Law Committee.
"During the time I served on the Waukegan School Board, a major issue we addressed was making sure that children spent time in school learning and not being recruited by gangs to terrorize our communities," Mayfield said. "One of my top priorities is to ensure that our police and community organizations have the tools they need to help deter kids from starting a life of crime."
House Bill 3033 requires the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to seek funding from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in order to establish a competitive statewide gang prevention and intervention grant program. These grants will be awarded by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to local governments and organizations to help fund projects that focus on reducing gang recruitment and preventing criminal street gang violence.
Sponsors of the legislation believe that this bill will help effective anti-gang programs have a better chance at obtaining federal anti-violence money. Gang intervention groups such as CeaseFire, which used state funding in the past to make a difference in Waukegan and North Chicago, have been studied by United States Department of Justice and been found to reduce the number of shooting and killings in areas with gang problems and make communities safer overall.
"There are several programs here in our community that I think could really benefit from this legislation and hopefully we will be able to help them to continue their work," Mayfield said. "This legislation has the potential to provide more resources for communities like Waukegan to use to reduce gang violence and create opportunities for children to grow into responsible adults."
House Bill 3033 now moves to be considered before the entire House of Representatives. Mayfield's Full-Time Constituent Service Office can be reached at (847) 599-2800.