Let's treat violence like a contagious disease

Gary Slutkin

  • 2 February 2018
  • Posted by: Nicolas Devia
  • Number of views: 1057
In our approach to understanding reality, sometimes it is forgotten the fact that human beings act exactly as other types of life do on earth. Like viruses and bacteria, crime and violence follow the same dynamics and recognizable patterns that only experts on the matter could identify. Gary Slutkin brought all of his knowledge on epidemiology from his experiences on battling cholera, tuberculosis and AIDS in Africa to apply them in Chicago during the 90’s. By isolating individuals “infected” by violence (violent offenders) from society and treating them on reconciliation and reinsertion to society, the outbreak of violence in Chicago was able to be stopped. The effectiveness of the medical approach has been demonstrated over and over again when high infectious diseases are contained and eliminated, from SARS in the 2000's to the latest outbreak of Ebola in 2014, experts were able to keep societies safe from the diseases. If we treat violence like the disease that it is, we could be looking at the end of its outbreak.

Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC): The Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention

  • 15 November 2016
  • Posted by: Jane Piazer
  • Number of views: 3016
Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC): The Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and support from the Mattapan Community Health Center, Boston Police Department, and Boston Centers for Youth and Families, produced the "Our Mattapan. Many Pasts. One Future." violence prevention campaign. Residents and community members involved with BPHC's Violence Intervention and Prevention coalition in Mattapan worked hand-in-hand with city officials to create a powerful public awareness campaign that highlights the impact of violence in the neighborhood. The campaign empowered residents to tell their own stories and to share their thoughts on building an even stronger Mattapan by discouraging gun violence and by breaking stereotypes that sometimes define the neighborhood. The personal stories featured in "Our Mattapan" aim to illustrate the true impact of violence on a community in a way that encourages more people to get involved in violence prevention work.