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Alternative To Violence program gets positive review in new study

The anti-violence program is showing signs of reducing crime.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There are promising results from a program designed to help reduce crime that is being used in the Beatties Ford Road corridor in Charlotte.

A study released by the Urban Institute at UNC Charlotte says the Alternatives to Violence program has helped to curb violent crime since its start in 2021.

The Alternative To Violence program is geared at interrupting violence before it occurs. The program uses workers who have a strong connection to the community and shared experiences of the people who live there. 

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These volunteers spend time in the neighborhood to build relationships with youths and young adults ages 14 to 25, who are considered at higher risk for being involved with violent crimes.

According to the report, of the 1,500 hours workers spent canvassing the community, there were more than 40 instances of violence that were avoided.

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Crime along the Beatties Ford Road corridor was similar to other parts of the city, but one of the biggest takeaways of the study was that homicides involving a gun were down compared to the year before the program began.

This report is a first look at the program’s results. Another one will be conducted after three years and will provide a deeper look at the numbers and trends.

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Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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