U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says Illinois is one step closer to getting the funds it needs to fight gang violence. The new federal spending bill includes $18.5 million to target so-called “gangs of national significance.” Kirk is hoping to get much of that money allocated for use in the state, which he says leads the country in per-capita gang membership.
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“In my view, it’s essential to do this over the long term,” Kirk said. “I would think that (famous Prohibition agent) Elliot Ness would’ve died and gone to heaven if he had gotten 18 million dollars to take on (Chicago mafia boss Al) Capone.”
The money includes $8.5 million for programs to help neighborhoods most affected by gangs, $7.5 million to fund the US Marshals Service’s anti-gang units, and $2.5 million for juvenile justice grants. Kirk says funds will be allocated to states in the next few months.