Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crain's: How to interrupt Chicago's gangland violence

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Gary Slutkin of Project Ceasefire authored this piece over at Crain's Chicago Business:
The Memorial Day surge of violence in Chicago has captured national attention. The coverage of events and our understanding of them, as with our understanding of violence itself, need to be updated.

As it turns out, violence behaves like an infectious disease, with violent thoughts and behaviors being transmissible. Several recent studies, including an Institute of Medicine workshop I helped plan and presented at earlier this year, confirms the contagious and epidemic nature of violence — including its propensity for clustering in hot spots, characteristics of how it spreads in many waves, and how one form of violence leads to many others.

The Memorial Day surge was a wave sitting on top of a wave that began last fall. This whole new wave, what we are experiencing now, sits on top of a previously declining wave that began in the late '90s, but has been dropping even further since 2004. As with other diseases, such as the flu causing more cases of the flu, violence leads to more violence, one wave into the next — unless new strategies are applied that specifically work to interrupt events.
After you read the whole piece, does anyone have any solutions to the violence? Also do you agree with Mr. Slutkin?

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