• Chicago

    Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy (VRS) has dedicated, full-time National Network staff on the ground assisting the city's community and law enforcement partnership to conduct call-ins and custom notifications in many of the most volatile districts.


Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy (VRS) has dedicated, full-time National Network staff on the ground assisting Chicago the community and law enforcement partnership to conduct call-ins and custom notifications in many of the most volatile districts. VRS uses frontline intelligence and innovative new social network analysis techniques to identify the group members at highest risk for violent victimization or offending and give them individualized messages about their vulnerability, the help available to them, and their legal risks. This focus reduced violence dramatically in 2013 while the Chicago Police Department made 7,000 fewer arrests.



reduction in victimization among factions represented at call-ins


reduction in overall shooting behavior among factions represented at call-ins


reduction in homicides through Project Safe Neighborhoods

News & Updates

Where Killings Go Unsolved

June 2018  |  The Washington Post  

The Washington Post has identified the places in dozens of American cities where murder is common but arrests are rare. These pockets of impunity were identified by obtaining and analyzing up to a decade of homicide arrest data from 50 of the nation’s largest cities. The analysis of 52,000 criminal homicides goes beyond what is known nationally about the unsolved cases, revealing block by block where police fail to catch killers. 

Tags: Chicago

Why Do We Ignore Initiatives That Reduce Gun Violence?

October 2017  |  New York Times  

"While movies, television and news outlets often give the impression that entire cities and neighborhoods are filled with thugs, criminals and killers, the reality is that those responsible for a majority of shootings represent a tiny percentage of the residents of any given city. In response to this fact, effective gun violence reduction strategies adopt a highly targeted, data-based approach in which the small number of individuals most at risk for shooting (and being shot) are provided with individualized programs of support and pressure to lay down their guns. To this end, law enforcement officials, clergy members, community leaders, social service providers and mentors who have themselves escaped violent lifestyles work in partnership with one another to help these individuals turn their lives around."

Tags: Chicago Oakland Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Put the Guns Down: A Chicago Strategy for Curbing Violence

August 2017  |  The Crime Report  

According to a recent report from the Urban Institute, a strategy aimed at reducing gun violence in Chicago by targeting gang members most at risk of being victims or perpetrators with a combination of “moral suasion” and the threat of criminal sanctions resulted in significant reductions of violence.

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

Top Chicago prosecutor ‘stunned’ at how few gun cases brought to trial yield convictions

July 2017  |  Chicago Tribune  

According to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, about 80 percent of those charged with gun crimes in 2016 pleaded guilty, with the remainder of the cases going to trial. Only about 30 percent of the defendants whose cases were decided by a judge in a bench trial were convicted, while juries convicted about 42 percent of the gun crime suspects whose cases were brought before them, Foxx told the editorial board.

"It's an embarrassing number," Foxx said.

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

Meet a new breed of prosecutor

July 2017  |  The Christian Science Monitor  

Institute for Innovation in Prosecution Executive Session members Mark Gonzalez, Kim Ogg, and Kim Foxx are among a new breed of prosecutors who are "eschewing the death penalty, talking rehabilitation as much as punishment, and often refusing to charge people for minor offenses."

Tags: Chicago Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

The Cost Of Jobs: Officials say jobs are key to reducing violence, but [...]

July 2017  |  WBEZ  

To tamp down Chicago’s gun violence, officials are trying things such as more youth mentoring and more cops. They are also talking about another approach: getting shooters employed.

“The best anti-crime program is a job,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last fall in a heavily hyped speech about the city’s violence. “It’s that simple.”

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Google Gives $2 Million to Curb Gun Violence

June 2017  |  The Trace  

The tech giant’s philanthropic arm will grant $2 million to fund gun violence prevention programs in communities of color in 10 American cities. Most of the investment will go to programs that follow the model of Ceasefire, a violence-reduction strategy that coordinates law enforcement, community stakeholders, and social services to drive down shootings. The grants will also establish job-training programs for gunshot victims and perpetrators, and workshops for law enforcement on anti-bias policing.

Tags: Chicago Cincinnati Dallas Gary Indianapolis Milwaukee New York City Oakland Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Want To Be A Chicago Police Officer? You’ll Have To Learn Black History

June 2017  |  DNAinfo  

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, speaking to recruits: “Because violence most often affects those in disadvantaged neighborhoods, due in part to the disparity we desperately need to fix, we also find ourselves interacting more often than not with African-Americans and other people of color. Many of you will start your careers in these areas, and it’s important you understand the history that created the conditions in those neighborhoods.”

Tags: Chicago National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Reconciliation

Chicago goes high-tech in search of answers to gun crime surge

June 2017  |  BBC  

Somewhere in Chicago's 11th district, a microphone has picked up the percussive sound of a bullet and sent a signal, via California, to the police station, which is where Kim Smith hears about it.

Ms Smith, a data analyst from the University of Chicago, works at one of the city's new Strategic Decision Support Centres, where data, technology, and old-fashioned police work are being combined in an effort to control a sudden surge in gun violence.

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

Chicago Gun Violence Hits African Americans Most — And It’s Getting Worse

May 2017  |  WBEZ  

"Historically, African Americans have been the victims of a disproportionate amount of the city’s gun violence. And that trend is getting worse. Shootings in Chicago have become more concentrated in black communities, even as the city’s African-American population declines."

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

Chicago VRS Staff

Christopher Mallette
Executive Director

Debra Higens
Project Manager

Randell Strickland
Assistant Project Manager

Silvana S. Bill
Project Associate