New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin have announced $5.5m in grants to support the New Jersey Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program (NJHVIP).

This programme connects victims of violent crimes, including gun violence, to services starting at the hospital.

It’s part of an initiative to reduce the impact of violent crime and reinvest in communities affected by cannabis criminalisation.

Murphy said: “Through the New Jersey Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program, our Administration is making progress on our commitment to creating a safer state for all New Jerseyans.

“These innovative violence intervention programmes allow providers to tend to vulnerable victims of violent crimes in the early days of their road to recovery in order to break the patterns of violence that have tragically taken the lives of too many New Jerseyans.

“We will continue to do what we can to support this work to prevent and overcome violence in our communities across the state.”

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Entering its fifth year, NJHVIP is funded through the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernisation Fund.

Teams of medical and community providers offer services such as crisis intervention, mental health support, and conflict mediation to victims and their families.

In total, the programme has received over $45m in federal and state funding.

It is expected to prevent violence, including services for at-risk youth and street intervention programmes.

VIVA executive director Patricia Teffenhart said: “Our NJHVIP partners are a key part of Attorney General Platkin’s trauma-informed, survivor-centred commitment to building safer, more resilient communities in New Jersey.

“By bringing together medical and community-based violence intervention teams that put victims at the centre of service, their work supports the kind of healing that helps put victims on the road to recovery and a path to safety.”