Two years ago, the Illinois legislature slashed funding for Cure Violence, a neighborhood-level violence-intervention program in Chicago that some researchers and community leaders had credited with easing tensions between rival gangs, and helping slow the spate of deadly shootings.
As The Trace reported this week, just a handful of violence interrupters are still on patrol in the city, even as violent crime has soared.
Eight hundred miles to the east, the program is in a very different moment. The New York City Cure Violence chapter, which is four years old, was recently expanded to cover 17 police precincts, up from just four in 2012. It’s total budget increased to $27 million this year, up from $23.5 million last year. And while Chicago police ended their formal relationship with Cure Violence, citing “issues” in 2012, New York police continue to work closely with the group.
… Jeffrey Butts, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who is currently researching Cure Violence, said a different relationship develops in each city between police, outreach workers, and the community. He said that, in New York, a culture of respect has developed slowly, and now works well.
“Everyone’s ideal is mutual trust and respect,” he said.