Cure Violence Health model

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 events (Cure Violence, RWJF-Feiden 2014).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Reduced gun violence

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Reduced homicide

Evidence of 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 fidelity (Skogan 2008, CCI-Picard-Fritsche 2013, JHSPH-Webster 2012). 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 neighborhood (Skogan 2008, CCI-Picard-Fritsche 2013). Chicago-based efforts also reduced shooting density in specified crime hot spots and may have contributed to decreases in firearm homicides (Skogan 2008). Non-fatal shootings appeared to decrease in participating Baltimore neighborhoods (JHSPH-Webster 2012).

An evaluation of efforts in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood suggests Cure Violence may also improve attitudes toward violence among high-risk male youth (Milam 2016*).

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 implementation (Whitehill 2014*, Fox 2015*). Efforts to ensure implementation fidelity and quality are essential to program success (Butts 2015*). Programs that include only partial components of the Cure Violence Health model, such as efforts in Newark (Boyle 2010b*), Pittsburgh (Wilson 2011b*), and New Orleans (McVey 2014*), appear not to reduce gun violence or affect other crime-related outcomes.

Impact on Disparities

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 Texas (Cure Violence).

Implementation Resources

Cure Violence - Cure Violence. Stopping the spread of violence.

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Cure Violence - Cure Violence. Stopping the spread of violence.

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