(BROOKLYN, New York): – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Arizona State University have presented a study showing that treating violence as an epidemic and intervening to prevent its transmission can be an effective tool to reduce violent crime in Trinidad and Tobago.
The study, Evaluating Cure Violence, evaluated the results of the Cure Violence program in the twin-island republic – a project that was financed by the IDB.
Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean has been a humanitarian crisis for decades, fuelling an immigration and refugee crisis across the region. The Evaluating Cure Violence study was the result of an extensive, three-year evaluation of Project REASON, a local violence prevention program that used the Cure Violence methodology to address homicides, woundings and shootings.
The Cure Violence program uses a public health model to prevent the “transmission” of violent crime. The model works by interrupting transmission of the disease; reducing the risk of those at highest risk to commit violent crime; and changing community norms.
Among the key findings were that: within one year of the launch of Project REASON, the violent crime rate in the treatment area was 45.1 per cent lower than in the comparison area that was not part of the program; calls to the police for murders, shootings, and woundings decreased in the treatment area by 22.6 per cent; and the Port of Spain General Hospital, the closest hospital to the intervention area, experienced a mean reduction of roughly 38.7 per cent in the number of gunshot wound admissions following the implementation of Project REASON.
The IDB said the findings presented in Evaluating Cure Violence in Trinidad and Tobago provide strong evidence that expanding the Cure Violence methodology will be an effective way to reduce homicides, woundings and shootings as well as to contribute towards improving lives in the Caribbean nation.
The findings presented in the report were based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected before, during, and after the program’s 26-month implementation period.