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About This Organization

CeaseFire uses a public health model to stop shootings and killings. We combine Science and Street Outreach to track where violence is heating up and then cool the situation down.

On the Lokashakti Network since:
Thursday, 02 February 2012

Year founded: 2000

1603 W. Taylor St.
MC 923
Chicago, Illinois 60612
United States

Phone: +1 312 996 8775

Type of network resource:
  • Activist Organization

Issues addressed:
  • Peace / Nonviolence
  • Youth


CeaseFire is a unique, interdisciplinary, public health approach to violence prevention. We maintain that violence is a learned behavior that can be prevented using disease control methods. Using proven public health techniques, the model prevents violence through a three-pronged approach:

• Identification & detection
• Interruption, Intervention, & risk reduction
• Changing behavior and norms

Identification & Detection

CeaseFire is a data-driven model. Through a combination of statistical information and street knowledge we identify where we concentrate our efforts, focus our resources, and intervene in violence. This data guides us to the communities most impacted. It provides a picture of those individuals at the highest-risk for violence. And, most importantly, it shows us how we can intervene.

Interruption, Intervention, & Risk Reduction

CeaseFire intervenes in crises, mediates disputes between individuals, and intercedes on group disputes to prevent violent events. Our staff is seasoned, well-trained professionals from the communities they represent with a background on the streets. Gary Slutkin: Disrupting Violence from PopTech on Vimeo
In other words, they know who has influence, who to talk to, and how to de-escalate a situation before it results in bloodshed.

Most of our program participants are beyond the reach of traditional social support systems. They have dropped out of school, exhausted social services or aged out, and many have never held a legitimate job; their next encounter with the system is either to be locked up behind bars or laid out in the emergency room. Our staff gets in where others can’t, meets the participant where they are at, works to change their behavior and connect them to resources that would otherwise be out of reach.

Change behaviors & norms

CeaseFire works to change the thinking on violence at the community-level and for society-at-large. For disproportionately impacted communities violence has come to be accepted as an appropriate—even expected—way to solve conflict. At the street-level we provide tools to resolve conflict in another way.

On a larger-scale, the traditional approach to violence has been through a criminal justice lens focusing on prosecution over prevention. This framework views success in terms of clearance rates (those captured and incarcerated after the commission of a crime) and measures prevention through a crime-control perspective often termed in military language (“war on drugs,” war on gangs”). CeaseFire looks to shift the discourse toward the view of violence as a disease and placing the emphasis on finding solutions to end this epidemic.

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Last updated: 2012-02-03 02:51:20
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