Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–781. Establishment of the Office of Violence Prevention and Health Equity.

(a) There is established within the Department of Health an Office of Violence Prevention and Health Equity ("Office") tasked with utilizing public health institutions and methods to halt the spread of violence in the District of Columbia.

(b) By October 1, 2016, or 6 months after receiving funding, whichever is later, the Office shall:

(1) In coordination with the District’s other health, human services, public safety, and justice agencies, including the Office of the Attorney General, develop and implement a public health strategy, which includes the use of risk-assessment tools, identification of heavy utilizers of public services, provision of cognitive and family-based therapy, and coordination of available services, to combat the spread of violence;

(2) Conduct a public information campaign concerning the impact of violence, strategies for violence cessation, and the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques; and

(3) Assist the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants in developing a program to ensure the presence of specially trained staff, tasked with providing counseling, mental health treatment, mediation and dispute resolution services, and trauma-informed care to apparent victims of violence and their families, in each hospital emergency department in the District; provided, that the program shall ensure that at least one specially trained staff member providing the services identified in this paragraph be available at each emergency department whenever the emergency department is accepting patients.

(c) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.