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The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are joining a rising national movement to stop violence before it happens and empowering the community with quick, effective techniques to resolve conflict. 

Alternatives to Violence, better known as ATV, addresses violent crime as a public health crisis. A trusted network of community advocates that detects and interrupts conflicts, identifies and treats high risk individuals and deters violent behavior through community engagement. 

Developed by the nonprofit organization, Cure Violence global, this model has lowered crime rates in several U.S. cities and in countries across the globe.

In Charlotte, work begins at Beatties Ford Road and Lasalle Street. A hotspot for violence where the Alternatives to Violence team is building relationships and trust.

Learn more at cltgov.me/ATV

FAQ About Evidence-Based Violence Interruption and Cure Violence Global

An evidence-based violence interruption strategy is one that uses data and evaluated methodology (developed over time and that provides consistent results) to interrupt violence on the ground. 

Several priority areas have been identified as durable hotspots of violent incidents in Charlotte. By using a tried and tested evidence-based model (instead of inventing one), which focuses on the individuals in the geographies with the highest risk of being involved in violence, Charlotte has the highest likelihood of of stopping violence before it occurs and preventing future violent incidents.. 

​The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have been exploring a partnership with Cure Violence Global for almost two years.  In January, the Charlotte City Council asked staff to implement an evidence-based violence intervention model to curb violent crime in four durable hot spots in Charlotte.  Cure Violence has a long history of work in cities across the globe.  They also have had extensive evaluation from various academic institutions which have found that their methodology is effective when implemented with fidelity, whether the city is Chicago, IL or Cali, Colombia. 

Multiple independent evaluations have been conducted analyzing Cure Violence's work.  Those studies overwhelmingly have noted significant reductions in violence in the areas where violence interrupters have been deployed. 

Read the Cure Violence Impact Report for more information on the organization's successes.

​Cure Violence Global is a non-profit, public health organization that has developed a successful methodology that works to interrupt violence in the place and during the time it happens. Cure Violence's methodology includes resourcing community members to work with people who are at the most risk for perpetrating violence.  The methodology is specific, based in public health principles, and uses data to target areas and individuals that are most likely affected by violence. Interrupters are community members and trusted messengers who use their credibility and relationships to mediate conflict and stop violence before it happens.  Interrupters work in their neighborhoods, talking to people on the street, during the times that violence is known to happen.  Outreach specialists maintain a caseload of persons they support in receiving services and resources to prevent future violence. 

​Cure Violence has helped set up evidence-based violence interruption programs in Durham and Greensboro, NC; Jacksonville, FL; Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA, Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; New York City, NY; Washington, DC; St. Louis, MO; Camden, NJ; Cali, Colombia among others.

The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will work together to implement Cure Violence's methodology through a Community-Based Organization (CBO) with a history of work and credibility in the community where violence is taking place.  The interrupter program will be launched in a specific area where data shows violence is happening, Beatties Ford Road and LaSalle Street. The Community-Based Organization will be resourced to administer the program through hiring supervisor(s), interrupters, and outreach workers, all from the community.  Additionally, Cure Violence Global will provide the training and technical assistance to stand up the program and ensure the right measures and ongoing training are in place for success.

​The Cure Violence methodology works by stopping the spread of violence with the assistance of trained violence interrupters and outreach workers by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control; 1. Detecting and interrupting conflicts, 2. Identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, 3. Changing social norms

​Violence interrupters are people with credibility, from the local community, with relationships that enable them to intervene when and where violence happens. They are trained to resolve conflict.  The interrupter will leverage relationships to intervene in conflict and stop violence before it happens.  The best practice for hiring violence interrupters utilizes a community-based hiring panel.  The interrupters are trained and supported by Cure Violence Global and are paid for their work. 

​Outreach workers work with participants to create a personalized violence reduction plan.  They work individually with people at highest risk to figure out what the individual needs to avoid decisions that lead to violence. 

​Violence interrupters will not share information with police.  Cure Violence plays a separate role to law enforcement. The Cure Violence approach is focused on preventing someone from crossing the line into violent action by focusing on prevention. Evidence shows that Cure Violence programs help relations between police and community by preventing violence before it happens, reducing police interventions.

​Community-based organizations play an integral role in providing the social infrastructure, social services, and personal relationships needed to reduce violence. Having a healthy and connected ecosystem of community-based organizations is essential to the success of the Cure Violence program. 

​The City's Jumpstart Micro-grant program is designed to provide small programming grants to community-based organizations to help jumpstart efforts around community safety. In alignment with the City's commitment to addressing community safety within priority areas of the city, the Jumpstart program has been retooled to prioritize organizations that are serving those key zip codes in Charlotte. In addition, the City and non-profit partners offer support and capacity building training to ensure the efforts of funded organizations can be sustained into the future.  

​Cure Violence provides the methodology, training, support and technical assistance for the local community-based organization that is selected to implement the program. Violence interrupters and outreach workers from the community will be paid to do their critical work.  Outreach workers are tasked with providing support to individuals, and success in that areas is reliant on having great connections and relationships with service providers and community organizations so they can make impactful connections and referrals.

​Cure Violence's role is very focused – to reduce shooting and killings in the target area they work in. Cure Violence will not solve the underlying causes of violence and the systemic inequities in our community. That work is part of a larger community-wide, collaboration that takes time, commitment and strategy to address. The City, County, and Community groups have multiple strategies that support that work, that will need sustained focus, and support.

Cure Violence Global (CVG) conducted a site assessment, and it was determined that the dynamics of the area are appropriate and consistent with other areas where the CVG model has been implemented successfully.

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