Posted on May 26, 2021
HARTFORD – Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee, State Representatives William A. Petit Jr. (R-22) supported a committee bill to increase community violence prevention services while providing training and certification for individuals seeking certification in this field.
The bill, HB-5677, An Act Concerning the Availability of Community Violence Prevention Services, would require commissioners from the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Public Health (DPH) by July 1, 2022 to amend coverage for these prevention services for beneficiaries who have received medical treatment for an injury that was a result of an act of community violence and been referred by a licensed health care or social services provider to receive such services. In addition, the bill would also create educational requirements for anyone who seeks qualification and certification in this area.
According to Rep. Petit, this is an important bill because these prevention services provided by a qualified professional will now be covered under the Medicaid program, and will provide for training and certification of qualified violence prevention professionals.
“These community violence prevention specialists and programs have reduced trauma recidivism and helped patients to receive necessary medical and social services,” Rep. Petit said. “There is good evidence that the rates of arrest, conviction and overall criminal activity have also decreased where these positions have been created. Due to the work of these specialists and the programs they staff, costs have decreased by preventing more violence and they have increased work productivity and boosted the morale boost of those living and working in cities.”
The bill received unanimous support when brought before the Public Health Committee and again when voted on by the House of Representatives on Tuesday night. It will now move onto the Senate for further action.