Terri Sewell cropped

Image from sewell.house.gov

Rep. Terri Sewell has announced her vote for a legislative package passed by the House of Representatives aimed at reducing violence and fostering community safety. 

The package contains four bills to support non-violence programs in communities and law enforcement, with an emphasis on rural police departments, as well as investing in mental health and police training. 

“Making our communities safer for our children and families has always been a top priority of mine in Congress, and that’s exactly what this legislation would do,” said Sewell in her announcement.

“Together, these bills would ensure that our local community organizations, local law enforcement, and especially rural police departments have the tools they need to keep Alabamians safe. With House passage of these bills, we’re one step closer to delivering deeply needed investments to prevent crime, boost community violence prevention, strengthen police accountability, and save lives.”

See below for specific details on the package from the announcement: 

Break the Cycle of Violence Act: Building on the American Rescue Plan’s life-saving investments in effective, evidence-based community violence prevention solutions – helping community organizations and local governments:

  • Hire violence intervention and prevention specialists
  • Offer intensive counseling, peer support and mediation services to survivors
  • Provide culturally-responsive social services for Alabamians at the highest risk for involvement in community violence

Invest to Protect Act: Funding rural Alabama police agencies through grants to retain and recruit officers, reduce the use of force and invest in strong accountability measures, including de-escalation training; improved response to substance use disorders; improved support for survivors of domestic violence; and promoting a duty of care.

VICTIM Act: Bolstering Alabama law enforcement agencies’ capacity to investigate and close cases of violent crime through new funding to:

  • Hire and train detectives to investigate homicides, sexual assaults and other violent crime
  • Ensure victim services are funded, staffed and trained to address the needs of survivors and family members
  • Acquire and upgrade investigative technology to better process evidence

Mental Health Justice Act: Saving lives by supporting the deployment of unarmed mental health professionals when responding to mental health crises in Alabama communities.

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