House Passes Bipartisan Ruppersberger-Kinzinger Bill to Reduce the Cycle of Violence in America
This week, the House passed H.R. 5855, the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act, which provides $10 million in federal grants to hospitals that want to expand or create programs for patients who are recovering from injuries as a result of violent crime. The bipartisan legislation sponsored by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) addresses the revolving door of violent crime in communities across America by expanding hospital-based intervention programs.
"Mental health issues are spiking across the country, and unfortunately, so are acts of violence. And the victims are often caught in a vicious cycle of violence. But by supporting victims with the resources and education to pursue a different path, we can stop the cycle of violence and give people hope for a better tomorrow," said Congressman Kinzinger. "Right now, it's important we work together to help and heal those who are struggling. The Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act is a perfect example of how we can join forces and enact policies that will have a real and lasting impact in our communities. I want to thank my colleague Congressman Ruppersberger for working with me on this important legislation and am glad to see it moving forward today."
"One of the leading risk factors for violent injury is prior injury," Congressman Ruppersberger said. "If we can help victims of violent injury before they become repeat victims or even perpetrators themselves, we end the cycle and net a cost savings to the American taxpayer. This bill is also critical to our efforts to shift social work away from police and first responders, and back to the experts in mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment and other areas that often afflict victims of violent crime."
H.R. 5855 requires the Secretary of the Health and Human Services to select existing and aspiring violence prevention programs from across the country to receive federal grants for expanding services or studying effectiveness. At the end of a 3-year pilot, each hospital will report its findings back to the federal government. Awards will range from $250,000 to $500,000.
During bill debate, Congressman Kinzinger spoke on the House Floor in support of his bipartisan legislation, citing the successes of the program in helping victims break the vicious cycle of violence that plagues them and giving them hope for the future.
The Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act was first introduced in 2019 with endorsements by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Trauma Nurses, the National Association of School Resource Officers, the National League of Cities, the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs, the National District Attorneys Association, and Cure Violence. The list has since grown to now include the American Hospital Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, and local elected officials.
Following the bill's passage in the House this week, the measure will now go to the Senate for further consideration.