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MI – GUN VIOLENCE – ‘It’s worth a try’: Ingham County considers intensive mentoring program to stem gun violence

LANSING – After 2020 saw an increase in firearm assaults and homicide, officials think a targeted anti-violence program could yield results.

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners and Lansing City Council are exploring a joint agreement with Advance Peace, a California-based nonprofit. Advance Peace enrolls people who have committed acts of violence or could become victims of a crime in an intensive program geared toward them becoming mentors in their communities to break the cycle of gun violence. The program promises to drop firearm assaults by 50% during the three-year program, according to Advance Peace.

But that promise comes at a price. The three-year program is estimated to cost nearly $2 million, with the county covering $590,000 and the city paying $890,000 over the course of the agreement, if it is approved. Grants and private foundation financial support would cover the remaining costs of the program. During the last year, community leaders have thought about different solutions to deal with crime, said Commissioner Derrell Slaughter, D-Lansing. Some focused on traditional policing, like adding officers and community policing, he said, but others thought about reinvesting resources. “I think this model is a bit different,” he said. Slaughter said he was impressed with the potential the program has for Ingham County.  [full article]

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