Cure Violence Illinois (CeaseFire Illinois, CeaseFire Chicago)

4 sites – 1 city
CeaseFire Illinois is the Illinois branch of the Cure Violence Organization, which has operated in Chicago, Springfield, Rockford, Cicero, Maywood, North Chicago, Waukegan, and East St.Louis. Currently the program is active in Chicago.


Chicago was the first city to implement the Cure Violence model, and the state of Illinois is the first state to fund and implement a multi-city Cure Violence program. Cure Violence began as the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention in 1995, and implemented its first program, known as CeaseFire, in 2000 in West Garfield Park, a community with one of the highest rates of violence in Chicago. Within a year, shootings fell by 67 percent. Five more replications of the new model in Logan Square, Auburn Gresham, West Humboldt Park, Rogers Park, and Southwest averaged a 42% drop in shootings in their first year.  In 2004, the work was expanded to 16 communities, and Chicago had a 25% drop in killings with a 50% drop in the CeaseFire zones. An independent evaluation sponsored by the US Department of Justice and conducted by Northwestern University concluded that CeaseFire’s intervention led to reductions in shootings of up to 70%.

Current Program

Currently, the program operates in the South Shore neighborhood as well as in four major trauma centers in Chicago – Advocate Christ Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Stroger Hospital of Cook County, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

In Fall of 2017 will be starting programs in West Englewood, Grand Crossing, in addition to maintaining the South Shore program.  Also, in partnership with local community based partners, we will also be starting programs in Auburn Gresham, Roseland, North Lawndale, Humboldt Park, South Chicago, Rogers Park, Uptown, Little Village, Southwest, and Grand Blvd.


A National Institute of Justice funded evaluation led by Northwestern University showed statistically significant results across all seven communities, reductions in shootings and killings of 41% to 73%, reductions in shooting hot spots of up to 40%, and the elimination of retaliation killings in 5 of 8 communities.

In 2013, the McCormick Foundation commissioned a quantitative and a qualitative evaluation of the 2012/2013 CeaseFire illinois/Cure Violence program in four target police beats in two Chicago neighborhoods, North Lawndale and Woodlawn. CeaseFire intervention in the targeted districts was associated with a 38% greater decrease in homicides, 1% greater decrease in total violent crimes (including domestic violence), and a 15% greater decrease in shootings as compared to districts that did not receive intervention.

Reports and Handouts

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