Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS)
In partnership with BPD and the State’s Attorney’s Office, MONSE is preparing to launch the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS). 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 non-fatal shootings and homicides. 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.
What are the goals of GVRS?
- Reduce homicides and shootings;
- Decrease recidivism and improve outcomes for those at the highest risk of violence and;
- Strengthen police-community relations and trust.
How will this work?
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.
How will this be different from previous violence reduction initiatives?
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. This is what makes the GVRS different and nationally more effective than previous violence reduction programs.
When implemented, GVRS can achieve what few other strategies can: reducing homicides and non-fatal shootings by 50%, while simultaneously minimizing the criminal justice footprint and empowering communities in the co-production of public safety.
The dedicated GVRS team will be responsible for cross-sectoral partner coordination, as well as leadership in the support and outreach and community “moral voice” components of the strategy.