A New Study Casts Doubt on One of the Country’s Most Popular Violence Prevention Approaches
by JOSIAH BATES
February 23, 2022
… In the years since, a number of cities have implemented or adapted Cure Violence’s strategies to address gun violence in their communities. But to what end? A review of the program’s rollout in St. Louis over the last 18 months raises some questions over the program’s effectiveness both in its own right and, crucially, at the expense of other strategies, adding fuel to a debate that has persisted for years within the violence prevention community and wider community advocacy networks.
… This is not the first analysis of the Cure Violence program to yield mixed results. A 2015 review of the program in Pittsburgh (which ran from 2004-2012) published by the Annual Review of Public Health did not find a significant reduction in homicides in the target areas. Furthermore, the review said, “the program appeared to be associated with an increase in rates of monthly aggravated assaults and gun assaults in the Northside.”
The review also pointed to mixed results from the program’s implementation in certain Baltimore and Chicago neighborhoods. And a 2020 report by John Jay College on alternatives to policing notes that the work of outreach workers and violence interrupters is “promising but mixed.”