Current Events Public Policy

Violence as a Public Health Issue

Can we think of issues related to violent crime as basically similar to that of a contagious disease?  This is the question an article in the N.Y. Times Magazine (“Blocking the Transmission of Violence“) attempts to answer.

Violence may spread like an epidemic; murders lead to revenge killings, which lead to more revenge killings.  Stopping the “transmission” of violence at its source is the goal of Gary Slutkin and his CeaseFire organization.  “CeaseFire tries to deal with these quarrels on the front end. [Interrupters’] job is to suss out smoldering disputes and to intervene before matters get out of hand.”

This is a radical approach, but will it work?