Cure Violence

Cure Violence

Stopping the spread of violence

Cure Violence, formerly known as CeaseFire, is a national public health strategy that reduces gun shootings and killings. The program views violence as a learned behavior that can be prevented using disease control methods. Outreach workers and violence interrupters – raised in the very streets where they work – are trained to identify people most likely to be involved in gun violence and redirect them to make non-violent choices. Concentrating on communities most severely affected by violence, the model uses data to identify potentially violent events and its trained staff of violence interrupters and outreach workers, who keep their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening on the streets.  

Violence is the leading cause of death among young men and boys of color, who are among society’s most vulnerable populations. Cure Violence uses a public health model to reduce gun violence. By treating violence as a learned behavior that can be “unlearned,” Cure Violence offers a solution to a problem that had been seen as unsolvable. It shows that violence doesn’t have to be the accepted norm in the community, thus helping to reduce fear and stress that can have severely toxic effects on vulnerable populations. Current RWJF funding is helping to expand the Cure Violence model across the United States.


Cure Violence

1603 W. Taylor St., MC 923
Chicago, IL 60612

(312) 996-8775

Remarks from Jane ISAACS Lowe, Team Director

Vulnerable Populations Team Director Jane Isaacs Lowe

CeaseFire Changes Its Name to Cure Violence

Our work with CeaseFire began twelve years ago, when the program embarked on a mission to stop shootings and killings in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods. But violence is a disease, and needs to be treated as such. The name Cure Violence represents the growing movement to approach violence as a public health issue, a message that reached millions when Cure Violence workers were featured in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters.

In his video, Gary Slutkin, founder of Cure Violence, discusses the vision behind the name change and the need for new approaches that can fundamentally change the thinking and the behaviors that lead to violence.

Watch the Video >

Related Research

Evaluation of Baltimore's Safe Streets Program

Effects on Attitudes, Participants' Experiences, and Gun Violence

Earlier evaluation results encouraged the Baltimore City Health Department to replicate Chicago’s Cure Violence program in four of Baltimore’s most violent neighborhoods under the name Safe Streets with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. This evaluation measures Safe Streets' effect on gun violence, attitudes about the acceptability of gun use and impact on the lives of participants after the implementation of the program.

Get the report

Quick Facts From This Study

  • Safe Streets was associated with 5.4 fewer homicide incidents and 34.6 fewer nonfatal shooting incidents, on average, across all program sites during 112 months of observation after implementation of the program.
  • All four intervention neighborhoods showed statistically significant reductions in nonfatal shootings after program implementation, and two neighborhoods showed statistically significant reductions in homicides.
  • One intervention neighborhood, Madison-Eastend, experienced an outbreak of homicides during the intervention period due to an intense gang feud, which resulted in a homicide rate nearly three times higher than expected during the 18-month period.
Young people holding signs that say Stop Killing People

Learn How Cure Violence Partners with Communities to Stop Violence

Law Enforcement Partnerships

Hospital Partnerships


Cure Violence

Cure Violence uses a public health model to stop shootings and killings.

  • CeaseFire: The Campaign to Stop the Shooting
  • Gary Slutkin: Disrupting Violence
  • CeaseFire: Evaluating Effectiveness
  • CeaseFire: A New Approach
  • Gary Slutkin at TEDMED 2013

More grantee videos

In the News

Using Strategies Reserved for Disease Outbreak, Activists Try to “Cure” Urban Violence

April 11, 2014 – “Fourteen years after the organization Cure Violence started in Chicago, studies show its tactics—which treat violence as a “disease” to be contained—are working. It’s newest partner? Syria.”

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New Program Aims to Curb Gun Violence in HRM Communities

April 11, 2014 – The Cure Violence program is being brought into Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada to detect and interrupt violence in the community.

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Federal Government Helps Nova Scotia in Fight Against Crime

Federal Government Helps Nova Scotia in Fight Against Crime

April 11, 2014 – Over $2 million in federal funding will go to crime prevention project Cure Violence to help 120 male youth, aged 16 to 25, who are involved in, or at high risk of involvement with criminal activity in the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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‘Cure Violence’ Expands Globally

April 10, 2014 – Cure Violence was formed in Chicago and has expanded globally into countries such as Honduras, South Africa and Iraq to reduce rates of violence by treating it as a public health issue.

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Interrupting Violence in Brooklyn

Interrupting Violence in Brooklyn

April 8, 2014 – A photo essay describes how one group that employs the Cure Violence method has made interrupting the patterns of violence its mission in Crown Heights, New York.

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