Associated Press — Community ‘Violence Interrupters’ Work to Stem Rising Crime

There’s growing interest in grassroots programs aimed at reducing community violence at a time when violent crime around the country is on the rise.

by Travis Loller
Associated Press
August 7, 2021


… Violent crime has spiked nationwide after plummeting in the early months of the pandemic, with many cities seeing double-digit increases in gun violence. President Joe Biden’s administration has sent strike forces to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., to help take down gun networks, and has encouraged states to use COVID-19 relief money to hire police or counselors.

… Sheyla Delgado, deputy director of analytics for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center, has studied Cure Violence programs in New York City for the past decade and says they do improve public safety.

Shootings and gun violence declined in the neighborhoods that had Cure Violence programs, she said. Attitudes toward gun violence changed, with fewer young men likely to see it as a solution to problems. But she said the programs suffer from inconsistent funding and administrative issues.

“There are other, not widely known programs that are alternatives to police, violence-prevention programs. But there’s not a lot of funding for research, so we don’t know if they work or not,” she said.

Rasheedat Fetuga stands outside Gideon’s Army free clothing store Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Partipilo)

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