As the city added more Cure Violence programs in pre-pandemic years, gun violence and deaths declined, said Sheyla Delgado, the deputy director of analytics at John Jay’s Research and Evaluation Center. “Can we say that is solely due to the appearance of these programs? Absolutely not,” Delgado said. “But they’re certainly a factor to consider.”
The key, we heard over and over again, is to have cops work in tandem with community-based “violence interrupters” — credible messengers from troubled communities who have the savvy and connections to quietly intervene at critical moments and persuade gang members, dope dealers, and other weapon-carriers not to resort to violence.
Proponents say that the number of shootings they prevented is difficult to track, and benefits like better community-police relations are hard to quantify. Despite that, a review by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that average monthly shootings decreased 28 percent across CMS sites in the first two years of the effort.
[Cure Violence workers] “try to stop the cycle of retaliation, and because they are not seen as an extension of law enforcement, the people most likely to be walking around with handguns in their pocket will talk to them and will allow them to settle a dispute before it turns violent,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
As Jeffrey Butts, director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice research and evaluation center in New York City, noted four years ago, “the public health approach of [Cure Violence] CV currently merits the label ‘promising’ rather than ‘effective.’” “CV, however, offers something to communities that other well-known violence reduction models cannot,” he added. “It is potentially very cost-efficient, and it places less demand on the political and administrative resources of law enforcement and the larger criminal justice system. "