True 2 LIFE
CFLC's Cure Violence
Program recognizes that violence is a public health crisis that cannot be cured by increases in carceral punishment for moral judgement. Because of outbreaks of violence spread epidemically, not unlike AIDS or tuberculosis, the Cure Violence model utilizes a three-pronged public health approach that simultaneously treats the symptoms and causes of gun violence.
The Cure Violence model deploys "Violence Interrupters" who are trained extensively to identify, with the help of hospital personnel and other community partners, potentially lethal, ongoing conflicts and respond with evidence-based conflict mediation strategies proven to interrupt reprisal cycles. Violence Interrupters are culturally competent individuals with longstanding natural ties to the communities where they work. Often survivors of violence themselves, they have strong relationships with the men and women that are at risk of being targeted by violence and they act as "credible messengers" that provide safe, immediate alternatives to violent behavior.
Cure Violence employs a strong outreach component to change the norms and behavior of high-risk clients that have been identified through multiple evidence-based risk factors. Outreach workers act as mentors to be caseload of participants, seeing each client multiple times per week, conveying a message of rejecting the use of violence, and assisting clients to obtain needed services such as job training and drug abuse counseling. Outreach workers are available to clients at all times, and especially during the critical moments that may precede relapse into criminal behavior. Extensive data monitoring and outcome measurement are conducted on an ongoing basis and used to improve program implementation, safety and performance.
In order to have lasting change, the norms in the community that accept and encourage violence must change. At the heart of Cure Violence's effort to change community norms is the idea that norms are changed when multiple credible messengers of new norms are consistently and abundantly heard. Cure Violence uses a public education campaign, community events, community responses to each and every shooting, and community mobilization to change community norms related to the use of firearms.