Cure Violence Health Model

Program basics

  • Stops the spread of violence using public health methods and strategies
  • Detects and interrupts potentially violent conflicts by deploying trained, credible violence interrupters and outreach workers into communities
  • Identifies and treats the individuals at the highest risk to commit violence, including providing clients with drug treatment, employment, and other social services
  • Change community norms by engaging with community leaders, residents, business owners, faith leaders, service providers, and the high risk to respond to every shooting, hold community events, and spread positive messages of non-violence
  • Model has been successfully replicated dozens of times across the US, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)

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Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, the National Institute of Justice


Target population

Opportunity Youth

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

1995-present

Outcomes and impact

  • Reduces gun violence in high-crime urban areas
  • Decreases firearm homicide and nonfatal shootings
  • Improves police-community relations
  • Increases employment, educational, drug treatment, and mental health outcomes
  • Produces positive shift in norms related to use of violence

Keys to successful implementation

  • Hire and train a team of credible messengers – those who can act as “violence interrupters” based on established credibility and access to the highest risk actors within a community.
  • Partner with a broad range of organizations across the community, including social service agencies, hospitals, churches, and more, to develop recruitment efforts and provide ongoing support to participants as needed.
  • Assign each outreach worker a manageable caseload allowing for significant direct engagement (10-20 individuals who are at the highest risk of violence).
  • Encourage each outreach worker to develop a weekly plan of action, along with frequently-updated risk assessments and violence risk reduction plans for each participant.
  • Regularly host community engagement events that promote a shift in norms and discourage violence; heavily publicize such events through canvassing, publicity materials, and recruitment efforts at schools, churches, and other groups deeply ingrained in the neighborhood.
  • Use data to regularly monitor program effectiveness, such as evaluating intervention locations and program impacts.
  • Implement Cure's training and orientation curriculum (or a program of equivalent intensity), along with ongoing (quarterly) professional development resources for all program staff.

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