Group Violence Intervention
The strategy holds that violence can be dramatically reduced when community members and law enforcement join together to directly engage with these groups and clearly communicate: (1) a credible, moral message against violence; (2) a credible law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence; and (3) a genuine offer of help for those who want it. To do this, a partnership of law enforcement, social service providers, and community actors – parents, ministers, gang outreach workers, neighborhood associations, ex-offenders, and others – must be assembled and must engage in a sustained relationship with violent groups.
The key moment in the strategy is a “call-in,” or “notification,” repeated as necessary: a face-to-face meeting between gang members and the partnership. The partners deliver key messages to gang members: that the violence is wrong and has to stop; that the community needs them alive and out of prison and with their loved ones; that help is available to all who would accept it; and that any future violence will be met with clear, predictable, and certain consequences.
A substantial body of research in support of the efficacy of the group violence reduction strategy has been assembled over the past 15 years. Please go to Research Findings for a list of Essential Readings or a Full Index of the research available to date.