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CeaseFire New Orleans

Launch date: CeaseFire Central City – April 2012, CeaseFire Hospital Crisis Intervention Team – October 2013 End date: N/A

Based on the CURE Violence model (formerly CeaseFire Chicago), CeaseFire New Orleans specifically was implemented to reduce street violence in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. The CeaseFire model uses violence interrupters and outreach workers with street credibility to interrupt and resolve potentially violent situations before they escalate – with a focus on retaliatory shootings and mediating ongoing conflicts among groups. CeaseFire focuses on changing the behavior of a small number of carefully selected members of the community – those with a high chance of either being shot or being a shooter in the immediate future. From 2010 – 2012, half of the shooting victims in the Central City target area were 16-25 year old African American males. With that in mind, CeaseFire focuses on placing people on caseload in that demographic.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, CeaseFire New Orleans expanded to include a new Hospital Crisis Intervention Team at the University Medical Center Trauma Unit. This team responds to violence across all of New Orleans with a proactive emphasis on NOLA FOR LIFE hotspots. The goal is to prevent the victim from being shot again and prevent retaliatory violence.

Finally, CeaseFire New Orleans aims to change community norms about violence by mobilizing support services and the larger community to demand a change in behaviors that lead to shootings and killings. 

Why part of murder reduction strategy

Central City was one of the most violent neighborhoods in New Orleans, and responding to a shooting victim at the hospital is an ideal opportunity for an intervention to prevent future violence. 

Evidence base: Evaluations of CURE Violence show a 40% - 45% reduction in shootings and killings in program target areas

Risk/protective factors addressed: Gun ownership; involvement in gangs; deficits in social cognitive or information-processing abilities

Performance indicators and results

Though the press release to announce CeaseFire was in April 2012, December 2012 is considered the operational launch date, as the organization was still establishing itself during the initial months and not yet fully functioning. Therefore the best time period to analyze the effectiveness of CeaseFire Central City is by comparing 2010 – 2012 to 2013 – 2015. Evaluations of other CeaseFire cities have identified shooting victims rate (fatal and non-fatal) to be the most important indicator in measuring CeaseFire performance. In addition, retaliatory shootings and gang shootings are of importance.4

*Population estimates are 4,591 from 2010-2012 and 5,220 from 2013-2015. The CeaseFire Central City target zone is bordered by S. Claiborne, Thalia, Dryades/Oretha Castle Haley, and Louisiana (Dryades to Lasalle)/Washington (Lasalle to S. Claiborne). This area closely matches Orleans Parish census tracts 85, 86, 92, and 140. Population estimates for these tracts are available from 2010-2014, and the population’s chosen are midpoints of the pre and post periods.
**CeaseFire targets 16-25 year old African American males to be on caseload, who were half of the shooting victims in the Central City target area from 2010–2012. 
***Gang/group member involved shooting data is unreliable for 2010 and 2011.

The Hospital Crisis Intervention Team launched in October 2013 and responds to every shooting victim at the University Medical Center hospital between the ages of 16-25, to prevent re-injury and retaliation. Since launch, on 19 occasions an individual was shot, released from the hospital, and shot again at a later date. In the same time length before launch, that occurred 34 times.

Footnotes

4 Wesley Skogan, Susan Hartnett, Natalie Bump & Jill DuBois. (March 2008). Evaluation of CeaseFire-Chicago. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/227181.pdf

Initiative partners

  • Operational/ Programming Partners: 
    CURE Violence, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, University Medical Center, Good Work Network, Café Reconcile, Charles Anderson Art Gallery, National Center for Children and Families, Ekhaya Youth Project, Next Generation, Mother2Mother, The NET Charter High School, Reaping the Harvest Full Gospel Baptist Church, New Orleans Peace Keeper
  • Resource Providers and Supporters: 
    Addicted to the Lifestyle/Institute for Behavioral Science, APEX Youth Center, Bayou Food Store, Domino’s Pizza, New Orleans Job Corps, Delgado Community College, G. Carter Law Firm, Subway, Kentwood Springs, Papa John’s Pizza, East Beast Productions, 44th Education Initiative, Inc., Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Blair’s Bail Bonds, Canal Street Church, Central City Renaissance Alliance, Family Service of Greater New Orleans, Voices of Experience, Herewego Entertainment, FirstLine Schools, Friends and Families of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, Voices of the Ex-Offender, New Orleans Area Toastmasters Club, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Home Depot, Orleans Public Education Network 
  • Funders:
    Baptist Community Ministries, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

 

Terrence Thomas

As a troubled teenager and victim of gun violence, I was introduced to CeaseFire New Orleans. When I became a CeaseFire participant, I started changing my mindset and my outlook on life. After being enrolled in the program for a year, I am now employed by a local food service company, and as a second-degree black belt, I hope to one day start my own karate school. CeaseFire is a brotherhood—I learned so much from the staff about life, patience and goals, and now I share the same message with the other guys like me in my community.

R. Brent Decker, MPH/MSW – Chief Program Officer, CURE Violence

As Chief Program Officer at Cure Violence, I have been involved with CeaseFire New Orleans since it began implementation in 2012. CeaseFire is important because it saves lives in a way that builds community, and it is based on the scientific research about violence prevention. As a Tulane alumni, former resident of New Orleans, and the Chief Program Officer at Cure Violence who coordinates violence prevention efforts with partners across 52 sites in 25 cities in 9 countries, I can categorically state that CeaseFire New Orleans is one of our model sites and is making New Orleans a safer place to live.

 

Caswick Navarro

As a troublesome kid from the St. Bernard Project, I met one of the CeaseFire staff members after being a victim of gun violence while I was on my way to retaliate. My conversation with the staff member caused me to have second thoughts about my actions. I’ve been a participant for almost three years, and they are all like my brothers. They give me good advice, and they helped me find a job that changed my life around. I’m now a part of a program that allows me to learn photography, videography and production. CeaseFire changed my life, and now I always think before my actions. NOLA FOR LIFE resources are really important to people like me. Now that I am a participant, I aspire to be a motivational speaker for other young people and victims of violence across the country. 

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