Cure Violence conflict resolution model is contingent on Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters, who play a critical role in the reduction of violence. They are individuals familiar with the community in which they work. Many have a history of involvement with “life on the streets.” This first-hand knowledge is imperative to their success. As a result of their own life experiences and personal connections, they are better able to engage the high-risk individuals who are the focus of their work.

Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters are working in the community during the hours when, according to statistics, violence is more likely to be committed. They canvass the area, getting to know the residents and the individuals that are at greatest risk of becoming a perpetrator or victim of shootings and killings. It is the worker’s responsibility to stay informed of everything that is going on within the community.

Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters are there to intervene in potentially violent situations to reduce the chance that a shooting will occur. They have the ability to carry a caseload of 15-20 participants, and they will assist each participant with changing his life. By linking participants and their families to educational opportunities, employment training and assistance, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, etc., outreach workers help to provide individuals with options besides a life of crime and violence. Their sheer presence in the community weakens the attractiveness and romance of gangs and street life culture that often perpetuates violence.

According to The Project on Justice in Times of Transition (PJTT) a group working to reassess global conflict resolution in the 21st century to develop new strategies, methods of conflict resolution have been developed with mixed results for more than 50 years. Until recently, PJTT notes very little effort has been put forward to evaluate such interventions.

Cure Violence has a remarkable distinction among violence prevention programs for having two comprehensive evaluations demonstrate the effectiveness of the public health model in two cities.

In 2008, a National Institute of Justice funded evaluation of the Cure Violence model in Chicago examined seven communities where the programme was implemented.  All seven communities experienced a statistically significant reduction in gun violence. In 2012, the first rigorous external evaluation of a Cure Violence replication, Baltimore-based Safe Streets was announced by Johns Hopkins University, demonstrating successful results for reducing violence in all four neighborhoods where it was implemented. Dr. Daniel Webster, lead author of the study, presented the three year evaluation of four historically violent neighborhoods–McElderry Park, Elwood Park, Madison-Eastend, Cherry Hill– showing a statistically significant decline in homicides or nonfatal shootings or both in each of the communities.

In one neighborhood, killings were reduced by 56% and shootings by 34%; in another neighborhood killings were reduced by 53%, and in the two other neighborhoods, shootings were reduced by 34% and 43%.

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