Implement Community Violence Intervention Programs | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Ari Hoffman during a special Newsweek episode of The Debate about how to stop mass shootings. You can listen to the podcast here:

Some of the systemic issues have a number of nuanced problems, understanding that each jurisdiction has their own way that they implement red flag laws. Everyone loves to use Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York as poster children. There's money in the federal government that can be given to states for community violence intervention programs, and that's not something that a lot of people want to talk about because it's not sexy. It's not popular all the time, but those are things that could absolutely help address some of these prolific offenders. These are the same folks who are committing crimes in many of these cities, who have always been committing crimes. The police already know them, and they have long rap sheets. So why don't we put funding in job training and placement? Why don't we fund programs that would help people with temporary housing? Or helping people with behavioral therapy?

An employee working before the shooting of an episode of Law & Order was shot and killed by an unknown gunman. Six_Characters

When we go back and look at the histories of many of these offenders, they have a lot of challenges in their background. I'm not necessarily saying that any of these red flag laws could address them, but maybe [they could] if they had a wrap-around service or some other type of support besides going to jail and hoping they get rehabilitated. This is something that could be implemented while they're incarcerated, so that when they come out we can reduce the recidivism rate — people going back and committing the same crimes because they have the same challenges that they had before they went into jail.

Kristal Knight is a political strategist, commentator, and the former political director at Priorities USA.

The views in this article are the writer's own.