Cure Violence

Young Men's Initiative

Evaluation

Forthcoming

Partner Agency: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC)

Cure Violence is an evidence-based violence prevention program that works with communities that have high levels of gun violence. The strategy leverages experiences of young men of color to act as "credible messengers" of an anti-violence message, in order to prevent and reduce youth violence. Community-based organizations (CBOs), working with staff at public hospitals, are replicating the Cure Violence model in three high-risk New York City communities, focusing on behavioral change among the youth at highest-risk of victimization and perpetration, as well as working to change community norms around violence. Private funding supports provider sites and funds two auxiliary anti-violence initiatives at partner hospitals (KAVI and Six Winners).

Context
Evidence for Approach
Key Features
Budget and Outcomes
Timeline
Interested in Participating?

Context
Although New York City is the safest big city in America, violence remains concentrated in certain socially and economically deprived neighborhoods. Such neighborhoods tend to have lower rates of employment and educational attainment and are plagued with other social and health disparities. Young men exposed to these social conditions are at risk of both violence victimization and perpetration. Young men, especially those 15-24 years of age, may lack skills to avoid or mediate conflict and may be unaware of the consequences to themselves, their families and their neighbors; violence becomes a learned behavior. Furthermore, community members in violent neighborhoods may come to view the violence as 'normal' behavior and feel powerless to stop it.

Evidence for Approach
The Cure Violence (previously known as "CeaseFire") program originated in Chicago in an effort to address gang violence and reduce retaliatory killings. Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research conducted an evaluation of the program, funded by the National Institute of Justice. Researchers examined community-level and client-level outcomes, comparing changes in multiple indicators of violence (e.g., retaliatory homicides) over time in targeted Cure Violence areas to matched areas that did not have Cure Violence. In every of seven Cure Violence catchment areas examined, there was a substantial decline in shootings of between 15% and 40% in the two years following the introduction of the program. At the same time, there was no comparable decline in shooting densities in four matched comparison areas. Furthermore, the proportion of homicides due to retaliatory violence dropped to zero in four Cure Violence program areas, and in five program areas, the levels of reciprocal homicides declined more than in the comparison areas (Skogan 2009). Recent rigorous evaluation of replication sites in Baltimore demonstrated similar success.

Key Features

  • "Violence Interrupters" intervene in conflicts that could escalate to violence and work with participants to mediate conflicts and encourage youth to not resort to violence
  • Outreach workers redirect the highest-risk youth away from life on the streets by implementing a detailed risk reduction plan that links youth with needed services.

Budget and Outcomes
For the most recent figures from the past fiscal year, see the latest Health data.

Timeline
Cure Violence was launched in 2012. It was originally named "Ceasefire."

Interested in participating in Cure Violence?
Cure Violence participants are identified by program providers. It does not accept external referrals. Participating locations include:

Hospital partners: