Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Taking a public health approach: The Cure Violence model uses a public health approach to addressing violence in cities. It aims to detect and interrupt potentially violent situations, identify and change the behavior of those most likely to engage in violence, and change group and community norms that perpetuate violence.

  • Collaborating with a local partner: Cure Violence Global works with local partners, like nonprofit organizations, local government, law enforcement, and public health agencies, to help communities to effectively implement the approach. The approach is implemented and managed locally with Cure Violence Global providing training and technical assistance. Typically, the model is implemented in a subset of neighborhoods with a high rate of violence, especially gun-related violence.

  • Hiring credible community health workers: When the Cure Violence approach is implemented in a community, the local partner hires community members who are highly credible with those at high risk of engaging in violence. These community members are trained to be health workers who serve as violence interrupters and outreach workers. These staff are trained in evidence-based methods for limiting the spread of violence, such as mediation and persuasion.

  • Interrupting potentially violent conflicts: Violence interrupters focus on interrupting violence. To prevent potential violence, they work to stop retaliations, mediate ongoing conflicts, and monitor past conflicts.

  • Shifting social norms and conducting outreach: Outreach workers respond to shootings, organize community members, and spread anti-violence messages, with the goal of shifting the community’s norms away from violence. Additionally, by identifying and developing relationships with individuals at high risk of engaging in violence, outreach workers can change behaviors by showing these individuals the cost of violence, teaching them alternatives, and connecting them to social services.

Cost per Participant
Not available

Multiple studies with both rigorous and less-rigorous designs provide some evidence for the effectiveness of the Cure Violence as a strategy for reducing violence.

  • Create individualized plans of action: Outreach workers build a caseload of 15 individuals most at risk of committing violent acts for significant, personalized engagement. Outreach workers develop weekly plans of action that include risk assessments and violence reduction plans for each individual.

  • Prioritize credibility for hiring: To effectively interrupt potential violence or build relationships with individuals at risk of committing violent acts, outreach staff need to be seen as credible. Local partners should prioritize hiring outreach staff who can effectively communicate with and influence those they aim to engage.

  • Manage violence as an epidemic: Local staff should conduct daily and weekly debriefs to share information about violence in the community and discuss strategies for addressing it. Topics that may be addressed include potential instances of violence; specific locations, people, or groups that are involved; the possibility for retaliation; and more.

  • Make community and group engagement a program pillar: Central to the Cure Violence model is shifting groups that are at risk of perpetuating violence away from the norms that allow or encourage that violence. To do so, local partners should prioritize relationship building efforts with these groups. Additionally, by engaging the broader community, local partners can highlight the community’s rejection of norms that encourage violence. Common outreach strategies include hosting events, leading door-to-door canvassing, and recruiting credible messengers in the community.

  • Create a data-driven feedback loop: In the Cure Violence approach, the local partner measures both “inputs” aimed at reducing violence, like outreach efforts, and changes in violence in the target and comparison areas. Cure Violence Global then analyzes these data and provides each local site with a monthly report detailing areas of success and opportunities for improvement. This approach allows each site to use data to continually improve its implementation of the Cure Violence approach.

  • Develop relationships with community organizations: As outreach workers engage with those at risk of committing violence, they connect those individuals to social services. Once the connection is made, outreach workers continuously engage with the individual to ensure they continue to access the services as needed. To facilitate these connections, local partners should identify and build relationships with a range of community organizations during the pre-implementation phase.