Contra Costa Health Services has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help develop public health strategies to reduce community violence, county officials announced.

The money will go to a program focusing on evidence-based application of social services in populations disproportionately affected by violent crime to improve outcomes, particularly in East and West County.

“Contra Costa Health has been working to prevent community violence since 1983,” said Karen Mitchoff, chairperson of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, in a statement. “This grant will inform the strategic vision of the violence prevention program going forward.”

A team including community stakeholders will assess the causes of violent crime in county communities disproportionately affected by violence. It will work with cities and law enforcement and community-based organizations to develop a plan to reduce violence-related injury and death, and improve physical and behavioral health, health equity, safety perceptions, and community partnerships.

“This funding will be used to save lives across our county,” Gilbert Salinas, CCHS chief equity officer, said in a statement.

Contra Costa’s multi-year plan will focus on developing social-emotional learning programs for at-risk youth, building workforce development opportunities and career paths, and working with communities to improve the physical environment, neighborhood appearance and community engagement.

CCHS will partner with the nonprofit National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform during the grant’s first year for research and planning help, including an analysis of the county’s existing violence prevention efforts.