Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $5,124,825)
Maryland has taken numerous steps to effectively and efficiently reduce and prevent crime -- particularly gun violence. Some of these efforts include establishing initiatives to combat criminal gang enterprises and repeat violent offenders, enacting Maryland’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) statute, allocating funds to support prosecution, removing violent offenders from the streets, supporting victim service providers, and establishing an extreme risk protective order program. Although Maryland remains committed to preventing and reducing crime and gun violence, it continues to experience both. According to the Maryland Department of State Police, 20.22% (n = 24,964) of all crime incidents reported in 2020 consisted of violent crime; nearly a third were committed with a firearm. In addition, some of Maryland’s shootings and murders are classified as mass shooting/casualty events. Between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, Maryland experienced 30 mass shootings that resulted in 33 deaths and 123 injured persons.
Although Maryland has made tremendous progress to reduce gun violence, save lives, and ensure firearms are in the hands of responsible owners, more work is needed to address such violence. For this reason, the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services (GOCPYVS) seeks federal funding from the FY 2022 - 2023 Byrne Crisis Intervention Program Formula Solicitation, in the amount of $5,124,825, to support the development and implementation of programs and initiatives that target the risk factors that lead to gun violence and impact the safety of Maryland residents. The project will select local stakeholders (sites) to support and expand extreme risk protective order programs, specialized crisis intervention court programs, behavioral health violence deflection programs, and coordinate efforts with law enforcement to safely secure, track, and return relinquished guns.
Given its role as a coordinating office, GOCPYVS will form a Crisis Intervention Advisory Board to guide the state’s response to, and implementation and expansion of, initiatives and programs that target risk factors that lead to gun violence. The Maryland Statistical Analysis Center will also be engaged to support action-oriented research, performance management, and evaluation of all selected sites. The evaluation of this project is expected to contribute to the national body of knowledge as it relates to best practices. The expected outcomes will also reduce violent crime and gun violence, decrease recidivism rates, improve relationships between law enforcement and the community, expand efforts to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and improve the safety of communities.