Alternatives to Incarceration

LA County Supervisors Call for Report on “Trauma Informed” Violence Prevention Strategies

Taylor Walker
Written by Taylor Walker

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion focused on addressing gun violence in those areas of the county “hit the hardest,” so that communities “can start healing through evidence-based strategies and solutions.”

“Unfortunately, our communities are now being hit with another layer of trauma,” Supervisor Hilda Solis wrote in her motion, “resulting from gun and gang-related violence and homicides that have increased between 20 to 48% in LA County according to several sources.”

The motion directs the Office of Violence Prevention to work with relevant county departments, as well as community organizations and survivors and residents, to report back to the board in 30 days with a “robust and comprehensive plan” for addressing “gang-related violence and trauma” in the LA communities with the most need for prevention and intervention.

According to the motion, the report should include:

– An analysis of data to identify communities with the highest rates of violence.

– Asset mapping to assess existing resources and gaps within the identified communities.

– Identification of a comprehensive array of prevention and intervention strategies to prevent violence and address the unique needs of most impacted communities.

– Recommendations for a protocol for regional coordination across jurisdictions, including cities and unincorporated communities, schools and law enforcement agencies, and government agencies.

– A draft implementation timeline identifying short-term and long-term activities, lead agencies and partners, and recommended policy and systems change efforts.

– A draft budget identifying public and private funding sources to support violence prevention and intervention work.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, speakers urged the board to continue their efforts to steer the county away from punishment-focused justice.

“I believe wholeheartedly it is not with the police force that we are going to solve the problem of gangs, gun violence,” said the Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s Oscar Bonilla, who spent 14 years in lockup. Rather, he said, “it is in collaboration with the community that we are going to be able to fix this situation.” Seeing police “fight fire with fire,” said Bonilla, can be “traumatic” for kids growing up in areas with higher rates of gun violence. “A community needs to heal from the inside,” he said.

LA County Probation Commissioner Sal Martinez also called into the virtual board meeting in support of Solis’s motion.

The county can’t address violence in the communities “just by funding law enforcement,” Martinez said, “We need more resources to invest in the community, and this motion emphasizes that point.”


  • Homicides up 20 to 40 percent, quite the butchers bill. Does anyone (other than witness la) believe throwing money at the “anti recidivism coalition” and grifter ex cons like Bonilla is going to help? Politicians like the “supes” make noise like they believe too, but I doubt they’re that stupid.

    Defund the police is being shoved down the memory hole, interesting to see if Gascon pivots to a more anti crime stance or decides to double down on the witness la agenda.

  • Heal from the inside, that’s an interesting concept. Too bad gang members don’t think like that. They base their action of money, drugs, and power. This has been a problem for ages. I’m assuming that the concept of the community healing itself has been tried but produced zero production. Look at the City of Compton. It’s looks and feels like a 3rd world city. They don’t want change. They continue to turn a blind eye and look the other way. Graffiti , pot holes, bums and homelessness everywhere. There so much more. They will never heal themselves

  • The Witness LA writers should do what the Jehovah witness do, walk the south central area and preach to the gang members their message. They should bring the county BOS and social services with them.

    This is just the beginning, I hope the LA County Sheriff’s deputies don’t get in their way, doing so could cost them their careers and their freedom.

  • One main aspect of the “Trauma Informed Approach” to healing a community is the belief that offenders primarily path to criminal behavior is their own unaddressed abuse. One big issue with this assumption is that it has not been proven to be true with all offenders and does not address the fact that most victims do not become offenders.

    People suffer trauma all the time and do not become criminals. Many do not receive significant support because support programs really have not existed.

    If these programs do in fact work can anyone actually publish a study that has been replicated showing that.

    Blindly charging forward will likely lead to failure and an increase in victims… that oh… programs will need more money…. Hmmm.

  • Defunding the Police, a weak BOS such as Solis that is easily influenced by hug-a-thug advocates, neutering the Probation Dept, and a pathetic D.A like Gascon leads to fools in power to wonder “Gee, …duhhh, why is crime going up? Let’s study why! Fr1gg1ng unbelievable!

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