August 18, 2022
Gun violence in America has existed at epidemic levels for decades, and recent CDC data warns that this public health crisis is quickly getting worse. In 2020, the firearm homicide rate surged by 35% and gun violence became the number one cause of death for children and teens for the first time. Due to the impacts of past and enduring systemic racism, gun violence is inflicting disproportionate devastation in Black and Brown communities. In 2020, Black people experienced the highest homicide rate increase and were four times more likely to be killed by a firearm than the general population. Gun violence remains the leading cause of premature death for Black men, as well as the number two cause of premature death for Latino men and Black women.In the face of this worsening epidemic and despite the fact that violence was recognized federally as a public health issue over 40 years ago, many cities across the country have yet to begin funding comprehensive public health strategies to end the cycle of violence. This report was developed to give advocates and local officials the tools they need to help change that.Community Justice's City Violence Prevention Index (VPI) is a first-of-its-kind national examination of local violence prevention programs, services, and policies. The VPI also represents the first national examination of local offices of violence prevention, including the details of their core functions. This inaugural edition assesses the 50 U.S. cities that experienced the highest incidents of gun violence in 2021, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.