… Cure Violence approaches violence as a public health problem. It figures that violence is contagious — that it infects communities. Advocates purport credible messengers can stop the transmission.
Jeffrey Butts, a researcher at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, likens it to the decades-long — and eventually successful — campaign to end smoking. “So can that strategy be used to reduce the incidence of gun violence? And that’s the big question,” Butts said.
The model is “promising,” said Butts, who has studied violence interrupters. But it can be tricky to quantify conflicts that don’t happen. Still, even a handful of conflicts defused by interrupters can prevent homicide’s repercussions — such as broken families, lost jobs, incarceration, retaliatory shootings or orphaned children, Butts said.
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