244795 Impact of Conflict Mediations on Shootings and Homicides

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:05 AM

Tina Johnson, MA , University of Illinois at Chicago, The Chicago Project for Violence Prevention, Chicago, IL
Elise Wisnieski, MA , University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Project for Violence Prevention, Chicago, IL
CeaseFire is a national public health strategy that has been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and homicides in communities most severely impacted by violence. The CeaseFire model utilizes data to identify and interrupt potentially violent events. This study evaluates the effects of one key component of the CeaseFire approach, conflict mediations, by analyzing 2008-2009 Chicago Police Department shooting and homicide data. Trained CeaseFire workers, known as Violence Interrupters, use conflict mediations to intervene in high risk situations likely to escalate into shootings or killings. Results indicate that from 2008 to 2009, District 7 as a whole experienced a 19% decrease in shootings and a 17% decrease in homicides. During this same time period, CeaseFire staff augmented the number of conflict mediations conducted by 76%. Almost one-third of District 7 conflict mediations were concentrated in two police beats: 725 and 726. Within these two beats homicides decreased by 25% and shootings decreased by 33.3%. At the same time, the number of conflict mediations increased from 4 to 26 (550%). These findings suggest that as the number of conflict mediations increases, there is a subsequent reduction in shootings and homicides. However, inconsistent funding for Violence Interrupters has caused fluctuations in the number of mediations throughout the calendar year, inhibiting CeaseFire's ability to operate at full capacity on a continuous basis. Nevertheless, this evaluation has promising implications for the field of violence prevention.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how conflict mediations have an effect on shootings and homicides. Describe the conflict mediation component of the CeaseFire model. Identify some of the defining characteristics of high risk conflicts that require mediation.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Homicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I manage the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention databases, data collection efforts, and report writing. Moreover, I am a PhD student in Criminology, Law and Justice.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Epidemiology of violence
See more of: Epidemiology