Nov 30, 2021 - News

D.C.'s violence interruption program to expand

Illustration of boarded up homes, broken windows, and chain link fence in the shape of a firearm
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The violence interruption program Cure the Streets will expand next year to four D.C. neighborhood areas to address gun violence.

Driving the news: D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine yesterday announced that the initiative, run through his office since 2018, will grow to ten locations this coming spring.

  • Homicides in the District are up 12% this year, according to police data, reaching 204 for the first time since 2003.
  • Cure the Streets employs violence interrupters who quell disputes that can lead to killings or assaults, often between warring crews in the city.

The new sites are in Congress Heights, Brightwood Park/Petworth, Sursum Corda/Ivy City, and Anacostia/Fairlawn — all “beset by recent gun violence as well as historic violence,” Racine told Axios.

  • According to the attorney general's office, Congress Heights had the most incidents of violent gun crime in the city in 2020 and 2021, and 27 homicides with firearms within the past three years.
  • During the pandemic, violence interrupters faced their own challenges, including a rising crime rate and the need to take mediation efforts to the virtual space.
  • “Pandemic or not, we're there,” Racine said.
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