Preventing Community Violence

Reducing community violence in Allegheny County

Working in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Office of Violence Prevention and the City of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) has committed at least $50 million over 5 years to implement evidence-based, comprehensive and well-coordinated public health approaches to reducing community violence.

Community Violence Reduction Initiative(PDF, 161KB)

Data and Analysis

An analytic report and interactive map describe homicides in our region using data from the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

What Tends to Work in Reducing Community Violence

As part of Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ Community Violence Reduction Initiative, DHS is sustainably funding the evidence-based programs listed below. Providers implementing these programs are connected with training and technical assistance, to ensure program fidelity.

Cure Violence

Cure Violence approaches violence with the understanding that violence is an epidemic process that can be stopped using the same health strategies employed to fight all other epidemics. This theory of change utilizes carefully selected and trained workers—trusted members of the community—to stop the contagion using a four-prong approach.

  1. Detect and intervene before violence erupts
  2. Identify and change the behavior of highest risk
  3. Change social norms to discourage the use of violence
  4. Respond to every shooting to prevent retaliation and treat trauma

Impact: Over the past 13 years, Cure Violence’s approach has undergone eight rigorous, independent evaluations, each one finding statistically significant reductions in shootings and killings.

Cure Violence RFP Webinar

Becoming A Man (BAM)

BAM is a school-based group counseling and mentoring program that improves the social-emotional and behavioral competencies of young men in grades 7-12 that are at increased risk of school dropout or justice system involvement. BAM places full-time, highly skilled BAM Counselors in partner schools that are present from bell to bell. Each BAM Counselor has capacity to deliver a blend of group and individual support services for up to 55 students. Services include:

  1. Weekly group counseling sessions, called BAM Circles
  2. Individual support services
  3. Enrichment Experiences
  4. Systemic engagement

Impact: External researchers at the University of Chicago Crime Lab have validated BAM’s impact, concluding that BAM participants were 50% less likely to be arrested for violent crime, 35% less likely to be arrested overall, 25% more engaged in school, and graduated high school on-time at 19% higher rates.

Becoming A Man (BAM) RFP Webinar

Programs Like READI Chicago

READI is a 12-month initiative that connects men at the highest risk of being involved with gun violence—as victims or perpetrators—with evidence-based interventions intended to decrease violence involvement, arrests, and recidivism among adult men facing high rates of arrests and victimizations. In order to foster safer communities and more opportunities, READI programming consists of:

  1. Outreach
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Interventions
  3. Paid Transitional Employment
  4. Skill Building and Support Services

Impact: READI Chicago is seeing success in identifying and engaging men most likely to be involved in gun violence, keeping them engaged in programming over time, and reducing their involvement in shootings and homicides—men who participate in READI have 79% fewer arrests for shootings and homicides, a large and statistically significant difference.

Programs like READI Chicago RFP Webinar

Highly-impacted Communities

The following Allegheny County municipalities are highly-impacted by homicide victimization, according to average homicide victimization rates from 2016 through 2021.

  1. Braddock
  2. Clairton
  3. Duquesne
  4. East Pittsburgh
  5. Homestead
  6. McKeesport
  7. McKees Rocks
  8. Mount Oliver Borough
  9. North Braddock
  10. Penn Hills (hot spot neighborhoods)
  11. Pittsburgh (hot spot neighborhoods)
  12. Rankin
  13. Stowe Township
  14. Wilkinsburg

Learn More About the RFPs Released Under the Community Violence Reduction Initiative

All information about the community violence prevention RFPs and proposal submission is available on our solicitations archive.