Leaders consider "Cure Violence" approach in Jacksonville

Treating crime like a disease

Local leaders are considering a new approach to preventing gun violence in Jacksonville, one that researchers at UF Health have supported for years.

“Cure Violence” is an organization that pushes to stop violence by treating it like a disease.

Through the program, trained staff from the community respond to hospitals when violence occurs, to act as mediators to stop potential retaliation.

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It also creates a program to ID people at a high-risk for violence and give them positive alternatives instead.

“In studies that looked at this component as part of a community-based violence program, this showed a dramatic impact in decreased homicides, shootings and retaliation,” said trauma surgeon Dr. Marie Crandall.

Cure Violence has been implemented in cities like Baltimore and Chicago.

Dr. Crandall said that when there was consistent funding for the program, some neighborhoods saw their likelihood of interpersonal violence and shootings decrease by 70 percent.

In a recent interview with Action News Jax anchor John Bachman, leaders said they planned to bring in the organization to assess violence in Jacksonville.

In an interview on Tuesday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said the assessment would likely happen during the next few weeks, but didn’t know yet where the funding would come from.