The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI), the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR), the Community-Based Public Safety (CBPS) Collective, and Cities United are leading organizations with expertise in community violence intervention (CVI). Together, these organizations offer expert technical assistance, training, and other resources to cities developing comprehensive CVI ecosystems.

What is a CVI Ecosystem?

The U.S. faces persistent disparities related to community violence, despite overall declines in recent decades. High homicide rates are concentrated in urban areas and particularly within racially segregated, economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. These neighborhoods contain just 1.5 percent of the country’s population but experience 26 percent of all gun homicide, a condition that perpetuates cycles of trauma, economic distress, and other harms.

Community violence disproportionately affects young men of color. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young Black men and the second leading cause of death for young Latino men. In 2020, Black men aged 15 to 34 accounted for 38 percent of all gun homicide victims while representing only 2 percent of the population. Those involved in gangs and other groups face an even greater risk of being harmed or harming others.

Nonfatal violent injuries are over 100 times more frequent than homicide, and repeat victimization is common. Victims of violence face not only physical injuries but psychological and emotional disturbances associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use disorder. Beyond these physical, psychological, and emotional impacts, community violence is costly: Gun violence accounts for $280 billion in annual costs to taxpayers, survivors, families, employers, and communities. The average cost of medical care for a nonfatal violent injury that requires hospitalization is approximately $29,200.

CVI addresses this problem by focusing resources on the high-risk population. It brings together innovative, evidence-based, community-led strategies—such as street outreach, hospital-based violence intervention, the Gun Violence Reduction Strategy, peace fellowships, and crisis management systems—that reduce violence, improve public safety, and provide a continuum of support to underserved people. CVI strategies employ front-line workers known as “credible messengers.” These workers, who sometimes come from the same communities as the high-risk population and may have a history of justice involvement, are uniquely able to mediate conflicts, prevent shootings, deliver connections to services, and promote nonviolent norms. During our moment of national reckoning on over-policing and mass incarceration, CVI represents an opportunity to invest in community-led work that promotes peace and addresses trauma while complementing the work of police in the communities that suffer from the highest rates of criminal justice contact.

A CVI ecosystem, driven by city leadership, connects a city’s violence prevention infrastructure—including community-based organizations, offices of neighborhood safety, and public health departments that too often work separately—in order to implement a comprehensive slate of strategies that address violence dynamics. The goal is to provide adequate funding and coordination, with a shared vision of public safety, to maximize the response to high-risk people and make violence reduction sustainable.

Our leadership team has national experience in assisting the planning and implementation of CVI ecosystems in cities across the country.

About Our Methodology
This formula is informed by technical experts’ experiences implementing CVI strategies in cities throughout the U.S.
All population data is extracted from the U.S Census.
‘Estimated high-risk population’ is derived by calculating roughly 0.1% of population size or reviewing reports by the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform which provide more customized estimates using local data. For specific locations, the estimated target population is a portion of the total high-risk population. The number provided may reflect the target population rather than the total high-risk population.
Projected staffing levels are calculated by determining the recommended case load for each CVI staff function relative to estimated high-risk population, with adjustments made for economies of scale for larger cities.
Projected budget for CVI staff, CVI supervision, and OVP staff are calculated based on estimated national pay averages and benefits for each staff position.
‘Staff Training and Technical Assistance’ and ‘Data and Evaluation Support’ are calculated at 25% and 15% of total staffing costs respectively.
Project budget for CVI Wraparound services reflect the housing, employment, health, and social services tied directly to estimated high risk population and their families. Wraparound services do not include criminal justice and law enforcement expenses.
The Coalition for Public Safety seeks to refine and enrich our methodology as more data becomes available. CAPS welcomes feedback from partners who seek to improve our modeling.
For more information, please contact our national technical assistance experts.