NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Rep. Bobby Scott delivered $760,000 to Newport News Tuesday to help with gun violence prevention.
The money will be used to help the city’s Gun Violence and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative, which works to interrupt cycles of gun violence in kids between ages 13 to 24.
“Efforts will be made to make sure people coming out of prison can get on the right track and stay on the right track. It costs a little money but its worth it,” Scott said Tuesday morning.
Most of the money will go to the Sheriff’s Departments re-entry program which helps adults getting out of jail.
“What we want to do is set them on the right path and part of that is supportive housing,” Sheriff Gabe Morgan told WAVY.
In the current housing shortage that is a challenge. Real Estate Agent Michelle Handy provides felons and sex offenders rooms to rent.
Handy told WAVY: “It looks like home, I put flowers, I said it looks like a woman lives here because I want it to be homey because I think if you give them something different then their mind set will be different as well.”
Along with working to prevent recidivism the money will help those on the other end of crimes. It will help pay for witness relocation and safety.
“People want to be involved they want to reduce gun violence in our area, but they live in that community,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones. “They see the perpetrator on a day to day basis. That can be intimidating and keep people from testifying.”
Finally, the grant will help with the purchase and upkeep of crime fighting technology – things such as license plate readers, shot-spotter, digital forensic software and for high-speed storage to manage the volumes of video police and prosecutors receive in investigations.
The money comes from the appropriations bill Congress passed last year.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.