Washington, D.C. — Weak gun laws are fueling today’s soaring rates of gun violence, which is now the leading cause of death among young people and, disproportionately, young people of color. A new column released today by the Center for American Progress highlights how many states, cities, and localities have implemented community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs to curb gun violence and improve public safety. This analysis specifically highlights the violence interruption model, a type of CVI program that is showing success.
CVI programs have proven effective at de-escalating conflict, providing mediation, and building supportive relationships with those at the highest risk of experiencing or perpetrating gun violence. For violence interruption models specifically, trusted community members—many of whom often have personal experiences with gun violence or violent crime—play a critical role in connecting individuals at the center of violence to resources such as education, housing, cognitive behavioral therapy, workforce training, and more.
“At its core, gun violence is a symptom of poverty, trauma, residential segregation, and social exclusion—much of which traces back to systemic racism,” said Rachael Eisenberg, senior director of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP. “To address these risk factors and improve public safety in neighborhoods across the country, government officials should continue to push for greater research and funding for these promising CVI programs.”
Several notable findings on violence interruption models’ effectiveness include:
- After implementing its Save Our Streets program, the South Bronx saw gun injuries fall 37 percent and gun victimization decrease by 63 percent.
- Baltimore’s Roca program found that more than 80 percent of participants showed improvements in behavioral health, and 84 percent of participants had not been arrested during the program.
- After implementing the Advance Peace program, Richmond, California, saw a 43 percent decline in firearm homicides and assaults.
Click here to read: “Community-Based Violence Interruption Programs Can Reduce Gun Violence” by Jahdziah St. Julien
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.