During the Aldermandic election, several candidates mentioned that they would enlist the services of Cease Fire as a means to help deter the violent crimes we have witnessed in Chatham. Also on the community blogs several residents have asked why Cease Fire is not present in Chatham.
So what is Cease Fire? CeaseFire launched in West Garfield Park, one of the most violent communities in Chicago in 2000 and was quick to produce results reducing shootings by 67% in its first year. CeaseFire’s results have since been replicated more than 18 times in Chicago and throughout Illinois and has now been statistically proven by an extensive, U.S. Department of Justice funded, independent three-year evaluation. This evaluation scientifically-validated CeaseFire’s success in reducing shootings and killings by 41% to 73% and demonstrated a 100% success rate in reducing retaliatory killings in five of the eight communities examined. They report their Model has been replicated more than a dozen times nationally and has two international sites in Iraq.
CeaseFire intervenes in crises, mediates disputes between individuals, and intercedes on group disputes to prevent violent events. I had a chance to speak with a Violence Interrupter Ameena Matthews. I asked Mrs. Matthews why Cease Fire wasn't present in Chatham. She stated that no potential partners had approached them as well as there was apprehension from some political leaders. Mrs. Matthews is also one of the subjects of an upcoming documentary "The Interrupters" that will open Friday August 26, 2011 at ICE Chatham 14.
You can find more information on Cease Fire at www.ceasefirechicago.org. You can also get more information from Mrs. Matthews on twitter @Ameenamatthews.
Should Cease Fire be invited to Chatham?