Evers allocates $45 million to stop ‘another public health crisis’ of violence and crime

By: - October 14, 2021 4:43 pm
Police tape with red and blue lights blurred from behind it.

“Police Crime Scene Tape” by JobsForFelonsHub is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Gov. Tony Evers delivered his weekly radio address Thursday on $45 million in new funds he and Attorney General Josh Kaul plan to put into violence prevention and crime-victim support.

Gov. Tony Evers

On Wednesday they announced that the money, from American Rescue Plan Act federal dollars, would be split: $25 million would go for statewide research seeking community solutions into violence prevention and $20 million would support providers helping crime victims.

The governor labeled the cycle of violence and crime “much like the pandemic” as “another public health crisis.”

Evers said the funds were designed to enhance economic recovery, building on his previous rescue fund allocations tied to mental and physical health care, education and support for kids and families.

“Violence in our communities, like any public health issue, is not inevitable, and that’s why we’re investing $25 million of these dollars toward stopping violence before it begins,” said Evers in his radio spot. “The cycle of violence is not a foregone conclusion and today we have the chance to interrupt the cycle and build the sort of future we want for our state.”

Funding for crime victims support will help replace some of the multimillion-dollar shortfall in federal funding under the Victims of Crime Act, said Kaul. While federal funding has gone down, programs addressing crime prevention and helping victims in Wisconsin have reported increased demand during the pandemic. The Department of Justice will award the $20 million to service providers. Kaul said it “will provide majority support to efforts to stop crime before it happens.”

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault — the only statewide membership, training and technical assistance agency for sexual assult service providers, according to Evers — will receive $100,000. The governor included that funding in his 2021-23 biennial budget plan, but the money was cut by the Legislature.

The allocation of the funds was lauded by Reggie Moore, the director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement for the Medical College’s Comprehensive Injury Center.

“The American Rescue Plan has provided an unprecedented opportunity for local and state leaders to invest in comprehensive approaches to violence prevention that are rooted in public health and smart on public safety,” said Moore in a statement.

Evers ended his radio address on this note: “As our state and economy continue to bounce back, we have the opportunity to not just recover from the pandemic but to build the sort of future we want for our state.”


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Melanie Conklin
Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin was the Wisconsin Examiner's founding Deputy Editor, serving from its launch July 1, 2019, until Feb. 1, 2022. She is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications before returning to journalism at the Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.