Working Together to Stop the Violence
According to the Center for Disease Control, violence is a serious public health problem in the United States affecting people in all stages of life. There is a strong base of evidence that supports the idea that violence is preventable. Changing the underlying conditions that contribute to violence—in homes, schools, and neighborhoods—prevents violence from occurring in the first place.
- Implementing a collaborative, multi-sector community long term, violence reduction strategy requires a comprehensive violence prevention plan. The plan must be based in a thorough and accurate understanding of the dynamics that fuel group violence in a given location and include interventions designed to target these dynamics.
- Multiple sectors must come together to cultivate a systems approach to developing effective prevention initiatives that precede the need for criminal justice intervention. This includes social service agencies, mental health and substance abuse services, and community-based organizations working with law enforcement and probation departments to address the social conditions that are associated with involvement in the criminal justice system and use data for decision making and resource allocation.
- Program evaluation and continuous quality improvement efforts can help identify the components of the programs that are reducing violence and target resources to those efforts with the greatest results. Demand for effective violence and crime prevention programs continues to grow. While most violence prevention programs are well-intentioned, very few of them have evidence demonstrating their effectiveness and many are implemented with little consistency or quality control despite their good intention.