Washington, D.C. — Gun violence, the primary driver of rising crime nationwide, disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic communities and is now the leading cause of death among young people in the United States. Against this backdrop, a new column from the Center for American Progress highlights the ways in which hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) can break cycles of violence by connecting victims in trauma centers and emergency rooms with wraparound services and long-term care.
HVIPs, like other community-based violence intervention models, have proven effective at reducing criminal involvement and preventing victims from retaliating against anyone who may have played a part in their injuries. Specifically, HVIPs connect patients with intervention specialists who can help them overcome their trauma and rebuild trust in the health care and criminal legal systems. The programs also leverage resources such as job training, behavioral health, or education to ensure patients are better equipped to transition seamlessly back into their communities after treatment.
“Addressing violent crime requires engaging trusted community members to dismantle systems intertwined with poverty, racism, and generational violence,” said Rachael Eisenberg, senior director of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP. “With increased funding and attention, HVIPs can continue to focus on health care settings as a critical opportunity to intervene and provide support to people when they need it the most.”
Several notable findings on HVIPs’ success include:
- Oakland, California’s, Caught in the Crossfire program found that its clients—violence-involved and hospitalized youth—were 70 percent less likely to be arrested and 60 percent less likely to commit crimes than similar patients who did not participate in the program.
- After six years since its implementation, San Francisco’s Wraparound Project was associated with a 400 percent decrease in reinjury rates, saving hospitals around $500,000 per year.
- Baltimore’s Violence Intervention Program found that its patients were half as likely to be convicted of a crime as nonparticipants and significantly less likely to be convicted of a violent crime.
Click here to read: “Hospital-Based Intervention Programs Reduce Violence and Save Money” by Karenna Warden
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