Over several years the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention designed and tested a project to reduce community violence, particularly gun-related violence. That project is CeaseFire. They drew from public health research and projects running successfully in several cities nationwide. Take a look at their statistics; it certainly looks to have been very effective in reducing shooting and homicides in Chicago. I will mention that there is a further study underway to try and separate the effect of CeaseFire from other initiatives brought to bear on the violence problem at about the same time (the results of that study will be very interesting to see).
Youth outreach and conflict resolution, to head violence off before it escalates too far and offer alternatives to violence, are the cornerstones of the program. Outreach workers, “violence interrupters” and community support and reaction are the “tools” used for intervention and “inoculation” against violence. Another very important facet is to ensure that there are “multiple messengers with the same message”, that violence can be stopped, it is a cycle that can be interrupted.
CeaseFire is spreading out of Chicago, with Chicago Project for Violence Prevention helping with technical assistance and training and the state helping with funding. I think CeaseFire will become a very useful program in Lake County and I thank those responsible for its coming here.
I am certain it can prevent deaths and decrease the growing violence problem in our society.