Ceasefire Case Study

Superior Essays
In the United States, gun violence is a substantial public health problem which disproportionately affects youth and minorities, particularly in disadvantaged urban areas. Numerous interventions from a large array of disciplines, have attempted to decrease youth violence. However, many of these interventions have been proven to be ineffective, which has led to the implementation of outreach workers, who engage high risk youth through the use of mentoring, referrals to social and health services, and direct meditation of gang and individual disputes. The most well-known and credited example of specialized outreach is the CeaseFire program. CeaseFire is a multi-faceted, public health based violence prevention initiative, with specialized street …show more content…
The crime rate increase was mainly driven by the increase in gun homicide rates of urban youth. In fact, since 1965, homicide has consistently been one of the top 15 causes of death in the United States, especially among African American males. More so, African American males under 25 experience violent crime victimization at rates higher than any other demographic group. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24” (CDC, 2012). In addition, “82.8% of homicide victims ages 15-24, were killed with a firearm in 2010” (CDC, 2012). However, homicide rates are significantly higher for African American males and continuously remains the leading cause of death for African American males, ages 15-24 (CDC, 2012). African American males are not only victims of firearm violence, they are also overrepresented among offenders. Nationally, youth homicide rates substantially rose during the late 1980s and early 1990s and peaked in 1993 at 43 homicides (per 100,000) in the 15-24 age group (NCBI, 2001). During that same time period, African American males accounted for 3% of the total United States population, however, they accounted for approximately 30% of homicide offenders (Cooper et. al., 2011). In addition to causing death and disability among victims, exposure to violence is associated with a multitude of …show more content…
Chicago 's homicide rate is significantly higher when compared to other U.S. cities. In 2007, shortly before CeaseFire was developed, there were approximately 250 homicides in Chicago among individuals ages 15-24 (FBI, 2008). Among African American males, the rate of homicides in Chicago is 128.9 (per 100,000), which is 1.5 times the national rate for African American males (FBI, 2008). In the 1997, U.S. Department of Justice Survey, 45% of individuals arrested in Chicago reported having been involved with a gang in the past. (DOJ, 1999). Chicago Police Department also reports that 55% of homicides in Chicago are related to gang activities and drugs (Chicago PD, 2008). The role of gangs and drugs in violence in Chicago led to the implementation of the CeaseFire model. CeaseFire utilizes traditional outreach workers, who help transition high risk youth away from involvement in dangerous activities through mentoring and connections to social services. Violence interrupters are also utilized in the CeaseFire model. Their primary job is to learn about impending street conflicts, in which they help intervene. Violence interrupters also encourage high risk individuals to settle conflicts and disputes in less violent ways. Both outreach workers and violence interrupters are similar to the individuals they are trying to help, having lived in the same communities and

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