Last week, the mayors who make up the Criminal and Social Justice Standing Committee engaged in a lively conversation about the promise that effective models like Cure Violence, formerly known as CeaseFire, offer in reducing and preventing gun violence in their cities. The panel took place at the United States Conference of Mayors 80th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Cure Violence was also featured at a forum on day two of the Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting. Presenters included Gary Slutkin, MD, founder and director of Cure Violence; Mayors Michael Nutter (Philadelphia), Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore), Mitchell Landrieu (New Orleans), and Ashley Swearengin (Fresno, Calif.); Jane Lowe, PhD, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Jennifer Whitehill, Ph.D., faculty affiliate at the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.
Mayor Landrieu endorsed the model saying, “Violence is a deeply rooted problem that can only be dealt with as a public health epidemic. The Cure Violence model is built on an idea that is exactly right. It is one of many tools that we have to use to get to the problem.”
The Conference of Mayor’s Criminal and Social Justice Standing Committee passed the below resolution of support.
The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Mayor of Baltimore
- WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has previously and consistently adopted resolutions recognizing that freedom from violence is fundamental to safe and healthy communities; and
- WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that in 2010 an estimated 3.8 million Americans age 12 or older were victims of violence; and
- WHEREAS, public health approaches to violence prevention address the conditions that breed violence, and the behaviors and attitudes that perpetuate it; and
- WHEREAS, by definition, public health approaches require the organized efforts and informed choices of organizations, public safety and law enforcement, communities and individuals; and
- WHEREAS, CeaseFire is a public health approach to violence prevention; and
- WHEREAS, a 2008 evaluation conducted by researchers at Northwestern University and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice found that CeaseFire was associated with a distinct and statistically significant reduction of shootings in the Chicago neighborhoods in which it operated; and
- WHEREAS, a 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention funded study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the CeaseFire replication site, Safe Streets, was associated with a statistically significant decline in either homicides or nonfatal shootings or both in the Baltimore neighborhoods in which it operated; and
- WHEREAS, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice considers the CeaseFire approach a model program for violence prevention,
- NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors affirms its support for public health approaches to violence prevention as pioneered by the CeaseFire health approach.