Communites are having success in dealing with street crime. One program that is working in Chicago is CeaseFire. A US Justice Department study found that over a three year period shootings dropped 41%-71% in CeaseFire zones. “Helped high-risk gang-involved clients of which:
87% got help getting a job
85% got help getting a high school diploma or GED
99% got help leaving a gang
“In every program are there was a substantial decline in the median density of shootings following the introduction of CeaseFire.”
From the CeaseFire site:
The Chicago Project has designed and tested a new intervention — CeaseFire — that approaches violence in a fundamentally different way than other violence reduction efforts. CeaseFire works with community-based organizations and focuses on street-level outreach, conflict mediation, and the changing of community norms to reduce violence, particularly shootings.
CeaseFire relies on highly trained outreach workers and violence interrupters, faith leaders, and other community leaders to intervene in conflicts, or potential conflicts, and promote alternatives to violence.
CeaseFire also involves cooperation with police and it depends heavily on a strong public education campaign to instill in people the message that shootings and violence are not acceptable. Finally, it calls for the strengthening of communities so they have the capacity to exercise informal social control and to mobilize forces — from businesses to faith leaders, residents and others — so they all work in concert to reverse the epidemic of violence that has been with us for too long.