Pittsburgh Tries to Curb Violence by Counseling At-Risk Gunshot Victims


A Pittsburgh program tries to curb violence by introducing at-risk gunshot victims to counselors in the hospital room, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It is patterned after Caught in the Crossfire, which began in Oakland, Calif., in 1994. “We’ve got everything in place,” Prof. Steven Albert of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, said Tuesday. “We’re doing it right now. We’re waiting on some funding.” Albert is working with Richard Garland, a visiting instructor at the school. They were among co-authors of a study issued yesterday that classified nearly a third of the city’s 42 homicides last year as involving or possibly involving “peer conflict” — a type, the study argues, that could have been prevented by such methods as hospital intervention. In the Pittsburgh program, a hospital worker asks if a gunshot victim is willing to speak with a counselor. The immediate goal is to keep the peace. The long-term goal is to improve the lot of the victim, the family and the community. “We talk to him. We talk to his associates. We talk to his family, whoever, and see what we can come up with. This isn’t going to be a one-shot deal that we’re going to have one conversation and that’ll fix the problem. This will be a laborious process,” Garland said.

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