Gwen Moore

From the office of:

Gwen Moore

Sending Office: Honorable Gwen Moore
Sent By:


Endorsed by:  National Council for Behavioral Health, Black Women for Positive Change, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in cosponsoring legislation to support the use of effective and much needed de-escalation training and techniques in our communities that can help reduce conflict and prevent violence. 

As many of our communities struggle with how to respond to violence, it is critical that we consider ways to increase the use of tools such as de-escalation that can help prevent conflicts in the first place.   Unfortunately, access to such training is limited
although the benefits can be enormous.  At a recent congressional briefing, experts including the police chief of Washington, DC, the director of the office of violence prevention in the Milwaukee Health Department,  and experts with the National Black Nurses
association shared their expertise, experiences, and examples of how de-escalation can be a strong tool for promoting peace in our communities.  A video of that informative briefing can be found

My bill would establish a program to allow eligible entities such as churches, schools, community colleges, or state and local governments to provide de-escalation training to community members, including youth.   This training would be culturally competent,
emphasize verbal and physical tactics to minimize the need for the use of force, and utilize techniques that can be used by a wide range of audiences.

A section by section summary is below.

For more information or to sign on as a cosponsor, please contact Chris Goldson in my office at 202 225-4572 or


Gwen Moore





Section by Section Summary

Section 1:  Short Title

National De-Escalation of Violence and Community Safety Training Act of 2019

Section 2: Definitions

Defines key terms including “at risk youth,” “racial reconciliation,” and “implicit bias.”

Section 3: Training Standards

Requires HHS to set standards regarding the types of de-escalation training that would be eligible for grant funding under the bill.  In developing these standards, HHS would have to seek input from community and other stakeholders, including law enforcement,
tribes, and health care professionals.

Section 4: Advisory Board

This section would create an Advisory Board to help HHS develop the training standards and grant guidance to ensure they meet key criteria, including whether they reflect the latest evidence based practices and techniques, effectively promote alternatives
to the use of force, and the extent to which they address and effectively take into consideration the role of implicit bias, cultural competency, and the intersection of race and policing.

The section would lay out the roles and responsibility of the Board as well as the selection of its membership. 

Section 5:  Grants

The bill would authorize $100 million annually for grants to eligible entities to provide de-escalation training. Eligible Entities would include state or local government, nonprofit organization, faith institutions, institutions of higher education, and
small businesses.

  • Grantees would be encouraged to target training to teachers, educators, bus drivers, school administrators, citizens returning from prison, health care professionals, groups dedicated to violence prevention, ex-gang members, and youth age 18-24, among others. 

Of that amount, $10 million shall be for tribal organizations.

Section 6

Reauthorizes the Mental Health First Aid program at $21.9 million annually through FY 2025.  Mental Health First Aid is an evidenced-based program that teaches ordinary people how to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental illness and substance
use disorder.  SAMHSA has funded these trainings since FY 2014 to train school personnel including teachers, counselors and principals. The focus was later expanded to include organizations such as
Catholic Charities, YWCA, YMCA, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders, and community colleges. 
In its last reauthorization, Congress added language emphasizing de-escalation training and techniques. 



Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Armed Services, Civil Rights, Family Issues, Government, HealthCare, Judiciary, Rules/Legislative Branch, Veterans

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