Nonprofit Quarterly

by Pam Bailey
September 5, 2018

Data kept by the Gun Violence Archive shows that to date in 2018, there have been more than 235 incidents in the United States in which someone with a gun deliberately shot four or more people—the generally accepted definition of a mass shooting. …

… But individual behavior change is not enough. Just as recovering drug addicts do better if they are discharged into supportive communities, so must neighborhoods nurture norms that work against violence as a means of proving oneself. “When violence is concentrated for a long period of time in an individual community, it becomes normalized and therefore even ‘expected’ by peers—and in fact by the whole community,” notes the Cure Violence team.

Do models like this actually work? The John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center analyzed the New York City experience with the Cure Violence model in 2017, seven years after the strategy was adopted. It found reductions in gun injuries of 37–50 percent in the South Bronx and Brooklyn. The center also documented a 14 percent reduction in attitudes supporting violence, with no change in control populations. However, more research is needed. The Annual Review of Public Health noted in 2015 that while each study it analyzed found at least some evidence in support of the Cure Violence approach, “none has been able to clearly disentangle the results from national and regional trends in violent crime.”

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