Illinois has a gun violence epidemic of concentrated gun violence in discreet neighborhoods across the State. Just as Covid-19 requires a public health solution, Illinois’ gun violence epidemic demands broader public health supports to stop the bullets, redirect young people toward better options than the streets, and provide trauma recovery from violence within Illinois’ Medicaid program.

The Reimagine Public Safety Act has four components:

1. Fund $24 million of outreach services in Chicago’s 17 highest risk neighborhoods.

Outreach services help young adults most impacted by violence leave the streets. Credible messengers in community-based organizations have relationships that allow them to know who needs the help most and how to work with them toward change. Outreach services available in Chicago have already demonstrated promising results and additional funding will allow more than 1400 acutely at-risk individuals to receive services in Chicago’s highest risk communities.

2. Fund $35 million in youth development programming in Chicago’s 17 Highest Risk Neighborhoods

Youth development services targeted to pre-teens and teens that live on high violence blocks in high violence communities can enable Illinois to create an early warning and prevention system that deflects our young people from the criminal justice system and violence victimization. This funding will support 8000 additional youth development after-school and summer programs for pre-teen and teens as well as a more intensive six-month program for 2000 teens that has proven to reduce criminal justice involvement and school attendance.

3. Fund $40 million in violence prevention programming in 10 cities outside Chicago

Cities outside Chicago have comparable gun violence problems and need a public health solution to this concentrated trauma. These local areas may decide to develop a community-based system similar to the Chicago model or they may need to diversify into other micro-targeted services. The Act enables each of these 10 cities and geographic areas to implement comprehensive, integrated violence prevention programs with these funds.

4. Create Integrated Behavioral Health Violence Recovery Services Under Medicaid

The Biden Administration is requesting states to develop innovative systems that recognize the unique needs of the health care service delivery system to address trauma recovery and wellness for individuals that are chronically exposed to the risk of violence and concentrated violence itself. Illinois will become a national leader under the Reimagine Safety Act by combining the credible messenger work in outreach with life stabilization efforts under case management and culturally competent group and individual therapeutic services.

Each of the four components has built-in structural guarantees to make sure community residents and community organizations from the impacted neighborhoods lead the healing process under this Act.

These provisions include:

  • Requirements to fund multiple agencies in each neighborhood
  • Requirements for minimum grants under each section to make sure resources follow expertise
  • Community-based organizations select their technical assistance and training
  • GATA is temporarily waived for small organizations that receive technical assistance to comply.


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Follow along as we work toward our goal of reducing gun violence by 80% in five years.