CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An international organization that helps train community members to take back their streets spoke to leaders in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Cure Violence started 20 years ago and has had success stories in about 100 communities around the world.
“We tend to see a reduction within 30 to 80 percent of shootings and homicides within the first year or two,” says Brent Decker, the Chief Program Officer for Cure Violence.
Decker says the Cure Violence program treats violence like a public health problem.
The solution is made up of three parts:
- Interrupt transmission
- Prevent future spread
- Change community norms
He says it’s important to get people to understand that 100 homicides in a year is not normal and shouldn’t be considered normal.
The organization reaches their goals by training community members, often times former offenders, to mediate, to stop retaliation and to change thinking.
“Working with those at risk to be involved with a shooting or killing, try to shift their thinking and their behaviors around responding to conflict with violence and shifting group norms through community events about peer pressure young people feel and having to be a man, and having to respond to conflict or disputes with violence,” says Decker.
The meeting Wednesday was hosted by Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed. He also invited several business leaders from around Cleveland to attend.
The next question is, “will Cure Violence be a program worth investing in for Cleveland?”
We’ll have to wait and see.