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(430 ILCS 69/35-15)
The Illinois General Assembly finds that:
(1) Discrete neighborhoods in municipalities across
Illinois are experiencing concentrated and perpetual firearm violence that is a public health epidemic.
(2) Within neighborhoods experiencing this firearm
violence epidemic, violence is concentrated among teens and young adults that have chronic exposure to the risk of violence and criminal legal system involvement and related trauma in small geographic areas where these young people live or congregate.
(3) Firearm violence victimization and perpetration
is highly concentrated in particular neighborhoods, particular blocks within these neighborhoods, and among a small number of individuals living in these areas.
(4) People who are chronically exposed to the risk of
firearm violence victimization are substantially more likely to be violently injured or violently injure another person. People who have been violently injured are substantially more likely to be violently reinjured. Chronic exposure to violence additionally leads individuals to engage in behavior, as part of a cycle of community violence, trauma, and retaliation that substantially increases their own risk of violent injury or reinjury.
(5) Evidence-based programs that engage individuals
at the highest risk of firearm violence and provide life stabilization, case management, and culturally competent group and individual therapy reduce firearm violence victimization and perpetration and can end Illinois' firearm violence epidemic.
(6) A public health approach to ending Illinois'
firearm violence epidemic requires targeted, integrated behavioral health services and economic opportunity that promotes self-sufficiency for victims of firearm violence and those with chronic exposure to the risk of firearm violence victimization.
(7) A public health approach to ending Illinois'
firearm violence epidemic further requires broader preventive investments in the census tracts and blocks that reduce risk factors for youth and families living in areas at the highest risk of firearm violence victimization.
(8) A public health approach to ending Illinois'
firearm violence epidemic requires empowering residents and community-based organizations within impacted neighborhoods to provide culturally competent care based on lived experience in these areas and long-term relationships of mutual interest that promote safety and stability.
(9) A public health approach to ending Illinois'
firearm violence epidemic further requires that preventive youth development services for youth in these neighborhoods be fully integrated with a team-based model of mental health care to address trauma recovery for those young people at the highest risk of firearm violence victimization.
(10) Community revitalization can be an effective
violence prevention strategy, provided that revitalization is targeted to the highest risk geographies within communities and revitalization efforts are designed and led by individuals living and working in the impacted communities.
(Source: P.A. 102-16, eff. 6-17-21; 102-679, eff. 12-10-21.)