Statement of Purpose Firearm violence prevention approaches take many forms, and research emphasizes the importance of investing in people and their social and physical environments. The objective of the current study is to describe variation in approaches to violence prevention across neighborhoods and neighborhood characteristics in Cleveland, Ohio from 2015–2019.
Methods/Approach Our study population includes all neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio. The primary unit of analysis is census tracts (N=237). We conducted an extensive review of online sources, agency websites, and implementation documents to identify extant violence prevention interventions during the study period. Interventions are classified into categories drawn directly from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and a report by the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. These approaches cover the life course and span individual to structural interventions. We code each neighborhood based on the presence or absence of a specific intervention during the study period and explore associations with crime type, including firearm crime, and frequency; neighborhood racial composition; residential stability; and neighborhood socioeconomic status using logistic regression. We use descriptive statistics and visualizations, primarily maps, to describe variation in neighborhood interventions across place.
Results The identified interventions cover the range of violence prevention categories, including early childhood home visitation, reducing youth access to guns, improvements to the physical environment, police surveillance, and many more. Additional results are forthcoming.
Conclusion This study contributes to our understanding of how cities employ a variety of approaches to prevent violence locally.
Significance As the nation grapples with how to prevent violence, especially with rises in 2020 and 2021, this study provides a description of what one city is doing. Understanding the types of violence prevention approaches that are actually in use is critical to identifying where there may be gaps in services or gaps in specific types of services and where there may be over-reliance on one form of prevention or another. This study also highlights all the positive violence prevention work that is underway in a city that often goes unrecognized. This study makes the national conversation about how we should prevent violence more concrete by grounding it in a specific and detailed picture of what is actually happening.
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