Cure Violence Health model

Evidence Rating  
Evidence rating: Some Evidence

Strategies with this rating are likely to work, but further research is needed to confirm effects. These strategies have been tested more than once and results trend positive overall.

Health Factors  
Date last updated

Cure Violence Health model, formerly Chicago CeaseFire, uses a public health approach to prevent violence. Cure Violence includes efforts to detect and intervene in potentially violent situations, educate and mobilize communities against violence, and connect high-risk individuals to social services. Outreach workers develop relationships with high-risk individuals and promote community norms to reject the use of violence. Violence interrupters, in some cases former gang members, identify and directly mediate potentially dangerous conflicts. Cure Violence health model works with law enforcement to select intervention areas, refer high-risk individuals to social services, and organize community events1, 2.

What could this strategy improve?

Expected Benefits

Our evidence rating is based on the likelihood of achieving these outcomes:

  • Reduced gun violence

Potential Benefits

Our evidence rating is not based on these outcomes, but these benefits may also be possible:

  • Reduced homicide

What does the research say about effectiveness?

There is some evidence that the Cure Violence Health model, formerly called Chicago CeaseFire, reduces gun violence in high crime urban areas when the model is implemented with fidelity3, 4, 5. However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Reductions in gun violence followed implementation of Cure Violence initiatives in five of seven participating Chicago neighborhoods and one Brooklyn neighborhood3, 4. Chicago-based efforts also reduced shooting density in specified crime hot spots and may have contributed to decreases in firearm homicides3. Non-fatal shootings appeared to decrease in participating Baltimore neighborhoods5.

An evaluation of efforts in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood suggests Cure Violence may also improve attitudes toward violence among high-risk male youth6.

Researchers suggest that a violence interrupter’s skills in conflict mediation and knowledge of gang conflict and violence, credibility with a community, and comprehensive community embeddedness are particularly important to successful implementation7, 8. Efforts to ensure implementation fidelity and quality are essential to program success9. Programs that include only partial components of the Cure Violence Health model, such as efforts in Newark10, Pittsburgh11, and New Orleans12, appear not to reduce gun violence or affect other crime-related outcomes.

How could this strategy impact health disparities? This strategy is rated likely to decrease disparities.
Implementation Examples

Cure Violence Health models have been implemented in 24 cities in California, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Texas1.

Implementation Resources

Cure Violence - Cure Violence Global. Experience in effective violence prevention.


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1 Cure Violence - Cure Violence Global. Experience in effective violence prevention.

2 RWJF-Feiden 2014 - Feiden K. Treating violence as a contagious disease: Cure Violence aims to reduce shootings in U.S. communities. Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF); 2014.

3 Skogan 2008 - Skogan WG, Hartnett SM, Bump N, Dubois J. Evaluation of CeaseFire-Chicago. Rockville: National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS); 2008.

4 CCI-Picard-Fritsche 2013 - Picard-Fritsche S, Cerniglia L. Testing a public health approach to gun violence: An evaluation of Crown Heights Save Our Streets, a replication of the Cure Violence model. New York: Center for Court Innovation; 2013.

5 JHSPH-Webster 2012 - Webster DW, Whitehill JM, Vernick JS, Parker EM. Evaluation of Baltimore's Safe Streets program: Effects on attitudes, participants' experiences, and gun violence. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH); 2012.

6 Milam 2016 - Milam AJ, Buggs SA, Furr-Holden CDM, et al. Changes in attitudes toward guns and shootings following implementation of the Baltimore Safe Streets intervention. Journal of Urban Health. 2016;93(4):609-626.

7 Whitehill 2014 - Whitehill JM, Webster DW, Frattaroli S, Parker EM. Interrupting violence: How the CeaseFire program prevents imminent gun violence through conflict mediation. Journal of Urban Health. 2014;91(1):84–95.

8 Fox 2015 - Fox AM, Katz CM, Choate DE, Hedberg EC. Evaluation of the Phoenix TRUCE project: A replication of Chicago CeaseFire. Justice Quarterly. 2015;32(1):85-115.

9 Butts 2015 - Butts JA, Roman CG, Bostwick L, Porter JR. Cure Violence: A public health model to reduce gun violence. Annual Review of Public Health. 2015;36(1):39–53.

10 Boyle 2010b - Boyle DJ, Lanterman JL, Pascarella JE, Cheng CC. The impact of Newark’s Operation Ceasefire on trauma center gunshot wound admissions. Justice Research and Policy. 2010;12(2):105-23.

11 Wilson 2011b - Wilson JM, Chermak S. Community-driven violence reduction programs: Examining Pittsburgh’s One Vision One Life. Criminology & Public Policy. 2011;10(4):993-1027.

12 McVey 2014 - McVey E, Duchesne JC, Sarlati S, et al. Operation CeaseFire-New Orleans: An infectious disease model for addressing community recidivism from penetrating trauma. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2014;77(1):123–128.