U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Criminal Justice and Public Health Approaches to Violent Crime: Complementary Perspectives

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2012
3 pages
After presenting an overview of the parallels between public health and criminal justice strategies for addressing public safety threats, this article summarizes this issue’s articles related to the implementation of public health and criminal justice approaches to violent crime.
In its overview, the article notes the theoretical, conceptual, and analytical parallels between the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) four-step process in the public health model and the criminal justice SARA problem solving approach (scanning, analysis, response, and assessment). In demonstrating this parallel, an article on the Cardiff Model illustrates how data on stabbings from two independent data sources, i.e., trauma admissions at hospital emergency departments and police data on assaults, have been used in developing strategies that have reduced stabbings in Cardiff, Wales. Another article describes an innovative program in East Palo Alto, CA, for responding to gun shots. Gunshot detection technology and health data are being used to define high-risk areas in which geographically targeted fitness programs will be established to simultaneously improve the health of residents and officers. From the perspective of the crime triangle, the design of the fitness programs is intended to increase guardianship for community safety and reduce opportunities for crime. A third article focuses on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Community-Based Information System (CBIS). This program demonstrates the value of a multi-user interactive mapping system that addresses gang violence and its context. The design of CBIS is based in the ecology of neighborhood violence. It recognizes the interdependence between violent crime and public health, child development, job-market conditions, and community development initiatives. The final article addresses the work of the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission (HMRC). This effort demonstrates the value of a data-driven multidisciplinary case review process in preventing and legally resolving homicide and non-fatal shootings in Milwaukee. Notes and illustrative exhibits

Date Published: August 1, 2012