Many of you have likely seen the numbers regarding the reductions in shootings and killings in Chicago.  The final tally for 2013 shows that shootings dropped by 12.8%, and killings by 18.5% citywide. This is an important drop, bringing us below the 2011 numbers and to the lowest level in several decades.

There are many organizations that played an important role in this reduction in violence in 2013, led by Mayor Emanuel, with the Chicago Police Department, other city agencies, and dozens of community groups and nonprofits.  CeaseFire also contributed to these efforts and this note provides an update to our previous note of December 2013, with the end-of-year figures.

Reduction Of Lethal Street Violence, Shootings & Killings In Ceasefire Zones
As we previously reported, areas that had both CeaseFire and strengthened police efforts had lower rates of killings than those that did not have the CeaseFire program.

  • CeaseFire zones had a 23.1% drop in killings compared to 18.5 % in the City as a whole, and a 27.8% drop in shootings in CeaseFire zones compared to 12.8% in Chicago.
  • Some CeaseFire communities experienced larger drops including 50–85% drops in killings in the SW side, Austin and Woodlawn, for example. This shows added benefit, which has been shown in several prior studies in Chicago and elsewhere.
  • Two-thirds of CeaseFire’s expanded hospital network responses were outside of CF designated zones, and therefore helped reduce violence in areas which were not counted as “CF proper” — i.e. contributing to the “overall” drop  in areas not ordinarily considered CF zones.  We are very proud to be participating in this way as well.

Increased CeaseFire Community Activity
In 2013, CeaseFire was quantitatively more active than ever before – being active in 17 (!) communities, but more importantly for the first time since 2004/2005, there was:

  • A near consistent CeaseFire presence through the summer because state funds increased (!) and contracting was expedited.
  • More foundations “got in” which contributed to the consistent presence.
  • The hospital network expanded, continuing to broaden the reach of CeaseFire hospital responders.
  • For the first time in nine years, there was no break in service last summer for the citywide violence interrupters work – nor for the full programs in Englewood, CF West (West Garfield/W. Humboldt Park), Austin and Woodlawn. Further, nearly every other community was online by early August of 2013 (after a June 30th stoppage) compared to the prior year of being offline for 3- 6 months.

Summary Of 2013 Level Of CeaseFire Effort

  • 100 interrupters and behavior change workers, mediated more than 607(!) high-risk conflicts, and worked with more than 950 (!) of the very highest risk persons.
  • The citywide hospital network performed 1,750 (!) hospital responses at Stroger, Advocate/Christ, and Northwestern Memorial Hospitals to prevent repeat shootings and maintain contact with those shot to prevent further high-risk actions.
  • What is documented as interruptions has been shown by CDC/Hopkins studies to correlate directly with reduced killings. The work with the highest risk persons has been shown by Dept. of Justice/NU studies to be with the very highest risk  – and to help them change their life course.

Although having a change in leadership mid-year, CeaseFire actually lost no ground in the transition regarding continuity of program efforts.  As noted, CeaseFire played a larger role in the city’s neighborhoods, covering approximately one third of the area of risk, and more when taking into account the above-noted citywide hospital partnership for high risk and retaliation prevention work.

We greatly thank Mayor Emanuel for his very substantial leadership on this issue and for the opportunity to partner and work with the city. We also want to acknowledge the hard work and special dedication of 14 community groups who work as partners of CeaseFire,  as well as the work of the University and hospital partners.

We also want to express our deep gratitude to Governor Quinn and the state legislature,  the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority/ State of Illinois, the Chicago Department of Public Health/City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Michael Reese Health Trust, Polk Bros. Foundation, Charles E. Marks Jr. Charitable Trust, Advocate Christ Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, The University of Chicago, National Recreation Foundation, Siragusa Foundation, William G. McGowan Charitable Trust, and Chicago White Sox Charities as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

While there is a lot more work to be done, 2013 was a year of great progress for Chicago.

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