Strategies to Prevent Urban Violence: A Companion Report to the SSYI Evidence and Implementation Review

While the federal government has been steadily increasing support for funding violence prevention activities in urban centers and among older youth involved with guns and gangs, very few states have made this type of violence the focus of their crime prevention efforts. The preponderance of state-level plans and funded programs aimed at curbing violence either target domestic and family violence or school-based violence, such as bullying. City-based initiatives to combat youth street violence are much more common than state strategies and in those cities at the top of the statistical rankings for having the most homicides per 100, 000 persons in 2012 there is typically more than one intervention in operation. The ten cities with the highest per capita homicide rate in 2012 are Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Memphis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Indianapolis. Philanthropic and medical community efforts to prevent youth violence are not that commonplace, although efforts appear to be growing in both areas. Some city trauma centers offer services to surviving gunshot victims in an attempt to prevent retaliatory shootings and engage family and friends who come visit these patients, with supportive services they may need. This is a unique access point for working with young people and other community members who can simultaneously be victims, offenders, and even bystanders to become part of the violence prevention solution. These programs should be evaluated in order to determine their place in larger-scale community-based violence prevention initiatives.

Campie, P.E., Petrosino, A., Pace, J., Fronius, T., Guckenburg, S. Wiatrowski, and Ward, S.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Boston, MA, 2013


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