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The pragmatism of community violence prevention programs

Residents' shadows are cast on the wall next to a memorial outside of the Old National Bank following this week's mass shooting in Louisville, Kentucky.
Residents' shadows are cast on the wall next to a memorial outside of the Old National Bank following this week's mass shooting in Louisville, Kentucky.

Over the weekend, the U.S. experienced two mass shootings. One took place at a park in Louisville, Kentucky, and another at a birthday party in Alabama. There have been 164 mass shootings in the U.S. just this year, according to the National Gun Violence Archive.

As gun legislation stalls in Congress, gun violence in the U.S. continues to rise, leaving states and cities to grapple with safety measures on their own. One solution is gaining traction: community violence prevention programs. Plans for these types of programs were announced this month in Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Ohio.

During the first four years of Baltimore’s program, researchersfound homicides dropped by 32 percent. They also identified some challenges these programs face.

What exactly do they do and how effective are they really? 

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Michelle Harven