Cure Violence Global uses a public health approach to stop the spread of violence in communities by detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms — resulting in reductions in violence of up to 70 percent. The Cure Violence approach has been proven effective by multiple studies for lessening street and youth violence, and is being used to tackle other issues, including cartel, tribal, election, prison, school, and ideologically inspired violence. The group is also increasingly being consulted on mass shootings, domestic violence and violence in active conflict zones.

“This is such an honor for Cure Violence Global, and we give great credit to our many partners in the U.S. and around the world who are doing such great work in making their communities safer and healthier by implementing this new approach to prevent and treat violence,” said Dr. Gary Slutkin, professor of epidemiology and global health in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and founder and executive director of Cure Violence.

Cities around the world have turned to the Cure Violence model to prevent violence — from sectarian violence in Iraq to community violence in Honduras, to prison violence in England. The Cure Violence approach has been implemented in 16 countries across more than 40 cities and 100 communities. Programs are expanding into new communities in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Latin America, as well as in the Middle East, including Syria.

New York City is the largest Cure Violence site in the world – with the city expanding its annual investment to $22.5 million. A recent evaluation of the New York City program from John Jay College Research and Evaluation Center found a 63 percent reduction in shootings and improvement in police-community relations.

Slutkin, formerly of the World Health Organization, founded Cure Violence in 1995. It is based on his idea that violence acts like a contagious disease, spreading from person to person as people adopt the behaviors they observe in their friends and peers.

“Violence is contagious — it spreads from one person to another. Cure Violence staff work one-on-one with those most likely to be violent and use their influence to talk them out of it,” Slutkin said. “Communities around the world are understanding that violence is a health issue and that this means we need to implement health approaches. We are working with as many partners and individuals as we can to guide and train them to effectively implement this health approach to preventing violence.”