BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Congressman Garret Graves says $375,000 in funding that would go to a nonprofit program aimed at reducing youth crime in Baton Rouge is now before the U.S. Senate.

“The current crime situation in Louisiana is just ridiculous. While the first solution is putting and keeping the criminals in jail, we must work a parallel path to prevent new recruits from joining the criminal path. There is an uptick in murders and other violent crimes, and a years-long backlog in DNA evidence. We are watching our youth become another violent crime statistic – doing nothing is not an option. We’ve secured tens of millions of dollars for our law enforcement community, but must explore every tool we can to restore safety in our communities and set vulnerable kids on the path to success. TRUCE is helping push our youth in the right direction and this is a great opportunity for us to act. Thanks to DA Moore, Aishala Burgess and the TRUCE team, and all involved for pushing this initiative,” Graves said.

The program that would receive the funding is TRUCE, an intervention program founded in 2018 by Baton Rouge leaders. Graves said TRUCE uses a “focused deterrence approach, including mentoring, recreation, education, employment assistance, and after-school programs.”

“On behalf of TRUCE and the District Attorney’s Office, we are thankful to Congressman Graves for his support in reducing recidivism in the Greater Baton Rouge Area,” EBR District Attorney Moore said. “It is our collective hope to keep our youth out of the criminal justice system altogether by providing positive, life-altering supports in our community. This funding will allow us to focus on the root causes of violence, and keep them and our community, safe and alive.”