Brady United Safer Communities Summit 28
Brady United Safer Communities Summit 28

Community violence intervention (CVI) programs are evidence-based, comprehensive strategies aimed at addressing root causes of violence.

By engaging impacted communities in wraparound support, CVI provides services and resources, and interrupts cycles of violence by using qualified credible messengers. This tailored approach works to reduce homicides and shootings by focusing on improving the lives of survivors.

Chicago advocacy
Chicago advocacy

CVI programs use a public health approach to reduce homicides and shootings in the country’s most disproportionately impacted communities. While CVI programs take a variety of forms, they all aim to invest in community members most at risk of engaging in gun violence or becoming the target of gun violence. These programs work with both survivors and perpetrators of violence because they are often the same population. CVI programs are intimately connected to the populations they serve and tailor offerings to meet the community’s specific needs. Community-driven strategies are a fundamental aspect of CVI’s approach. By involving those impacted in shaping and delivering support services, CVI ensures that solutions are culturally competent and relevant to the specific needs and challenges faced by each community.

Several types of programs fall within the realm of CVI, including Hospital-Based Intervention Programs (HVIPs), Violence Interrupters, and community investments.

Hospital-based violence intervention programs intervene at critical moments that can either increase the risk of engaging in violence or decrease the risk when proper support is provided.

HVIPs connect with survivors of violence while they recover from their injuries in the hospital. Case managers and social workers simultaneously support survivors’ basic needs and provide emotional support while working to mitigate retaliation risk.

These programs work. A study in California found that those enrolled in the HVIP program had a violent reinjury rate of


which was half of the violent reinjury rate of the control group not enrolled in the decade-long program.


Programs that utilize the violence interruption model intend to reduce gun violence by engaging with a small number of community members at the center of gun violence.

The violence interruption model relies on building long-standing, personal relationships between the violence interrupters working within the community to mitigate conflict and the individuals identified as the most at risk. These programs are associated with a 63% reduction in shooting victimization in South Bronx, New York, and a 43% reduction in firearm deaths and assaults in Richmond, California.

Community-based violence prevention programs are effective in reducing firearm homicides and assaults, but they are often underfunded. CVI programs require public investment for sustainable success.


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