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This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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READI Chicago: A Community-Researcher Partnership to Reduce Gun Violence

January 1, 2023

Gun violence is surging in the United States. In 2020, America's homicide rate rose by nearly 30%, the largest one-year increase in its history. The overwhelming majority of these were gun deaths. Communities of color bear both the brunt of gun violence — more young Black men die of gun homicide than the next nine leading causes combined — and society's main response to it: aggressive policing and long prison sentences. To address this public health crisis, cities need solutions that reduce gun violence without exacerbating the harms of the criminal legal system.One potential solution is to provide people most at risk of gun violence—those most likely to shoot or be shot—with services to help keep themselves and others safe. Recent evidence shows that cognitive-behavioral interventions can significantly reduce violence involvement. Evidence also shows that these effects may be magnified when combined with a job. Yet there is no rigorous evidence on whether the people at the highest risk can be found and engaged. Nor is there evidence on whether cognitive-behavioral programming and a job reduces the deadliest forms of violence: shootings and homicides.Here we describe the results of a large-scale randomized trial of the Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI) Chicago. The study fills these important gaps and shows that the combination of cognitivebehavioral programming and jobs cost-effectively lowers involvement in shootings and homicides.