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Sweeney and Mazzeo Highlight Youth Violence Programs in Atlantic City

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Sweeney and Mazzeo Highlight Youth Violence Programs in Atlantic City

Trenton – To highlight recent initiatives to tackle the rise in gun violence, Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney and MP Vincent Mazzeo today met in Atlantic City with the organizers and participants of a new local program anti-violence campaign and discussed the city’s inclusion in a similar state initiative. .

“Violent crime is a serious problem in our cities, so we need programs that encourage community awareness and participation. Programs such as the Anti-Violence Out-of-School Youth Summer Initiative have helped thousands of children in towns across New Jersey enjoy safe and stimulating summers. This year, not only have we included Atlantic City in the initiative, but we have also increased the overall program funding by $ 2 million, ”said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester / Salem / Cumberland). “This approach can ensure that young people in our cities have the opportunity to participate in productive and safe summer recreation. “

“Over the past year gun violence has increased in Atlantic City. Rather than making decisions that would perpetuate violence, the state took several steps to promote anti-violence initiatives and programs, such as “One Neighborhood Evolution” and the Summer Out-of-School Youth Program. against violence ”, declared the member of the Assembly. Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), who has worked to make the inclusion of Atlantic City in this program a budget priority this year. “With the help of trained community members, we can step in and prevent violent crime before it happens in Atlantic City neighborhoods. These types of programs give residents a stake in all kinds of successes and pride in knowing that they are part of the positive change.

Funding for the Summer Out-of-School Youth Violence Program will be used to establish separate programs and provide services to address violence in urban communities. In previous years, funding has been used to provide education and skills training for unsuccessful youth in school, to create community-based violence reduction initiatives that help resolve conflict and provide support. victim services. The Anti-Violence Initiative received a total of $ 6 million in this year’s budget. The other cities included in the program are Paterson, Trenton and Newark.

Launched last fall, the One Neighborhood Evolution program is an Atlantic City initiative designed to train local and rehabilitated ex-offenders to prevent incidents of violent crime in the city through preventive intervention and / or mediation. .

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