Johns Hopkins Researcher Calls for Expanded Investment in Safe Streets

In Sunday’s Baltimore Sun, Daniel Webster, director of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and deputy director for research of Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence, called for a deeper investment in programs like Safe Streets Baltimore, a Cure Violence replication site.

prof-daniel-webster

Professor Daniel Webster

The investment, Webster says, could foster an environment in Baltimore less conducive to violence—and one that has less violence overall. This investment can be especially effective, he points out, if law enforcement and Safe Streets Baltimore work together to prevent violence before it becomes deadly—he calls the two methods of violence reduction “perfect complements,” in fact.

Webster’s belief in Cure Violence’s public health approach to reducing violence comes from a 2012 evaluation he completed of the Baltimore replication that found, among other things, as much as a 50 percent reduction in homicide in the four neighborhoods in Baltimore using the Cure Violence model. Further, he found, youth NOT exposed to the program, were seven times more likely to think it is okay to use a gun, compared to youth who were exposed to the model.

Violence is not intractable, Webster says, and the right interventions can make the city safe.

> Read the Baltimore Sun op-ed, “To reduce Baltimore’s gun violence, invest in strategies that work:” http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-baltimore-vioence-strategies-20130707,0,5691308.story

> Read the full evaluation of Baltimore Safe Streets: http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/web-assets/2012/01/evaluation-of-baltimore-s-safe-streets-program