New York State Health Foundation-Funded Research Aims to Reduce Gun Violence in Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology is planning to continue to have a positive impact in the community by conducting innovative research that could reduce retaliatory gun violence in Rochester.
With more than $194,000 from the New York State Health Foundation, RIT’s Center for Public Safety Initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts will form a program — Community Engagement to Reduce Victimization — to determine whether a victim of street crime was involved in a dispute and whether that dispute could escalate with gun violence.
Sixty percent of shootings that occurred in Rochester between 2010 and 2013 were linked to retaliatory disputes.
“This is hospital-based intervention, focusing on community partners to intervene to help stop the violence,” said Irshad Altheimer, CPSI director and an associate professor of criminal justice.
He said starting in January, assessments will be done on victims taken to Rochester General Hospital, where about 40 percent of area shooting victims are taken. The victims, having a penetrating injury or blunt force trauma, will come in through the emergency room, and hospital security will contact Pathways To Peace — an agency that provides outreach to violent and gang youth and their families. One of their four response team members will be on-site within 20 minutes to conduct a risk assessment to determine if the injury was the result of a dispute and if there is a high risk for retaliation. A project manager will determine the best course of action, which could be working with the victim, their family and friends, to help discourage subsequent use of retaliation. In some cases, that may mean moving the victim to an out-of-town hotel for a few days after they are discharged to help de-escalate the dispute. The agency also has the ability to ask the hospital to hold a patient rather than discharge them if a high probability of retaliation exists...