Kudos to the Wisconsin State Journal for its series, "Gun Violence in Madison | Cycles of trauma."
Rather than a “tough on crime” approach, research supports a comprehensive response to such violence. So, I was pleased to read about the coordinated efforts in Madison and Dane County.
The series’ emphasis on how childhood trauma can lead to negative life outcomes, including a propensity toward violence, should be a wake-up call. The youngest residents of our most stressed neighborhoods need good schools and services. Their parents need a say in the decisions that affect their families, plus access to quality health care, healthy food and affordable transportation. These things support physical and emotional development, providing a foundation for building resilience.
The Madison-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency has seen the impact of comprehensive anti-violence efforts. For example, we evaluated the Office of Neighborhood Safety in Richmond, California -- one of the country’s most dangerous cities when the office opened in 2007. Through community-driven programming, the Office of Neighborhood Safety offers services at both community and individual levels. Since its start, homicides and firearm assaults in Richmond have decreased significantly.
The efforts of our city and county hold promise. We urge local leaders to continue collaborating to make our community safer for all.
Kathy Park, Madison, National Council on Crime and Delinquency