top of page

Elad's Plan to PREVENT
and Reduce VIOLENCE

Missouri desperately needs a statewide, coordinated effort to reduce violence in our communities. I have personally lost students and friends to gun violence, including a former student of mine who was shot and killed playing with his sisters in his backyard the day before he was supposed to start first grade. As your Attorney General, I will:

1. Launch Missouri's first statewide effort to reduce and prevent violence. In places where we've seen significant and lasting reductions in violence, we've seen major sustained coordinated programs. There are a lot of pieces to reducing violence - from prosecution to reducing poverty - and all of the partners need to be on the same page. The Attorney General's Office is already supposed to coordinate efforts to combat human trafficking, and the Office will be a great place to house a statewide violence prevention program.

2. Support focused deterrence. Most violent crime happens in small areas and is conducted by a very small number of people. We will support a focused deterrence model that identifies those individuals most at risk to commit violent crime, sets clear expectations, offers opportunities before people commit crimes, and ensures that those who still participate in violence are prosecuted. Focused deterrence must be paired with community outreach, poverty reduction, and the other strategies below to be truly effective. Prosecutions only happen after violence has occurred. Our goal must be to prevent violence.

3. Target illegally possessed firearms. A lot of violent crime involves the illegal possession of firearms. We need to stop the illegal flow of guns in Missouri which makes it even easy for children to illegally obtain firearms and make horrific choices in terrible situations. We need to ensure that folks who shouldn't have firearms do not have them, and we need an Attorney General who will enforce the law, work with federal and state agents to do so, and advocate for common sense improvements to public safety.

4. Support mental health and substance abuse treatment. In Missouri, approximately 90% of people in prison report some level of substance abuse. Law enforcement officers are overwhelmed with drug and mental health calls. Especially now given ongoing opioid and related litigation, we need an Attorney General who will ensure that resolutions with opioid manufacturers include support for substance abuse treatment and mental health services.

5. Reduce poverty. The most crucial long-term aspect of reducing violence is reducing poverty. We must invest state resources into reducing poverty. As Attorney General, I will use my authority to improve access to affordable housing, quality education services, and job opportunities for every Missourian. As Attorney General, I will also enforce Missouri’s consumer protections to prevent exploitation by predatory lenders, insurance companies, and scammers who keep people stuck in poverty.

6. Bring community partners to the table. We must ensure that communities throughout our state have opportunity and a voice in the process. We will regularly meet with members of the community, nonprofit organizations, and local government officials to help coordinate efforts to invest in our neighborhoods.

7. Improve reentry services. Most people who go to prison are eventually released, and we must do a better job preparing folks to return to society. That includes partnering with Probation and Parole, community organizations that support reentry, and other efforts that help keep Missourians from returning to prison.

8. Protect witnesses. Many witnesses do not come forward because they fear for their safety. Until Missouri can demonstrate substantial results in reducing violence, especially in our most impacted neighborhoods, we will need to invest significantly in witness protection. I have personally spoken to crime witnesses who were terrified of coming forward because they had kids. As Attorney General, I will be an advocate in the legislature to ensure we are protecting witnesses and their families.

9. Ensure accountability within our justice system. As Attorney General, I will start Missouri’s first Civil Rights Division. We need to build and maintain trust between our public servants and the public, and that means ensuring that our rights are protected. We also need to make important changes in our justice system that include increased statewide prosecutorial coordination, an emphasis on deescalation training, funding our public defender system, utilizing diversion courts including drug courts and veterans courts, offering greater assistance to court administrators, and ensuring that people who are in jail or prison should actually be there through the implementation of Conviction Review Units. Unlike previous Attorneys General, I will not use your money to keep innocent people in prison.

What IDeas Do you Have
for Missouri?

Thank you for sharing your ideas!

An error occurred. Try again.

Elad Gross for Missouri Attorney General alt logo
bottom of page