Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS)

In January 2022, MONSE launched the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) in partnership with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and the State's Attorney's Office (SAO).

This proven strategy aims to address the norms perpetuating violence in Baltimore by focusing resources on individuals identified as being at the highest acute risk of involvement in gun violence. GVRS, also known as focused deterrence, is a nationally recognized approach that has the strongest formal evaluation record of any violence prevention initiative designed to reduce homicides and non-fatal shootings.

The strategy works by engaging directly with those most intimately involved in and affected by violence, leveraging an intentional collaboration between law enforcement, social services, and community members who collectively co-sign and deliver an anti-violence message to stop the shooting. The GVRS message is grounded in the following core parts:

  • Every person and community needs and deserves to be safe and;
  • Violence is often driven by a very small number of groups and people.
  • To increase safety, we must collectively focus on that small number of people in order to support high-risk individuals in their daily lives, communicate community norms in support of everybody’s safety and success, and where necessary create swift, certain, and legitimate sanctions for violence. 

When implemented with fidelity, GVRS can achieve what few other strategies can: reducing homicides and non-fatal shootings, while simultaneously minimizing the criminal justice footprint and empowering communities in the co-production of public safety.

Goals

  • Reduce homicides and shootings;
  • Decrease recidivism and improve outcomes for those at the highest risk of violence and;
  • Strengthen police-community relations and trust.

In partnership with SAO and BPD, MONSE submitted a request to Senator Van Hollen to allocate funds to GVRS from the Congressional District Spending program. We will continue to engage the philanthropic community and apply for federal grants to support the strategy.
 

Collective Impact for Violence Reduction

The Group Violence Reduction Strategy is a proven law enforcement strategy that centers people at the highest risk of being shot. This ensures that lasting change is made, making our neighborhoods safer.

 

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