Programs for Violence Prevention

Safe Streets

Contact: Dedra D. Layne, LGSW, Director


Safe Streets is a public health campaign designed to reduce shooting and homicides within targeted communities in Baltimore, where homicide is one of the greatest risk factors for teenagers and young adults. Safe Streets works with community-based organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce and prevent violence, particularly shootings and killings. The program relies on outreach workers, clergy, and community leaders to intervene in conflicts or potential conflicts and promote alternatives to violence. Safe Streets also involves cooperation with the police and depends heavily on a strong public education campaign to instill in people the message that shootings and violence are not acceptable. Finally, it calls for the strengthening of communities so they have the capacity to exercise informal social control and respond to issues that affect them.

The Safe Streets initiative is operating at four sites: McElderry Park, Cherry Hill, Mondawmin, and Park Heights. Community providers include:

UMB School of Law: Center for Dispute Resolution (C-DRUM)

The Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law (C-DRUM)

Contact: Toby Guerin


The Center for Dispute Resolution (C-DRUM) at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law promotes the effective resolution of conflict to empower and transform. An integral part of the law school, C-DRUM is a comprehensive dispute resolution center for policy, scholarship, and professional skill development relating to problem-solving in law and society. C-DRUM collaborates with public and private institutions, groups, and individuals to study, enhance, and teach conflict resolution; research and develop conflict resolution systems; and promote effective, ethical dispute resolution in legal education and practice and in society more broadly. Through the education of law students and provision of conflict resolution services throughout Maryland, C-DRUM furthers the law school's goal of maintaining high academic standards while providing service to the surrounding community. For 11 years, C-DRUM collaborated with the Maryland Judiciary's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to sponsor school conflict resolution programs through one-year grants. C-DRUM works closely on the state and local district level to promote policies and practices of effective conflict resolution. At the individual school level, C-DRUM provides direct support and training on restorative practices, mediation, peer mediation, attendance mediation, and classroom climate. Clinic students in the Mediation Law Clinic provide assistance in support of school conflict management programs in coordination with C-DRUM initiatives.

University of Maryland School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes Research (CHOR)

Contact: Jane Lipscomb


Lipscomb, J., McPhaul, K., Rosen, J., Geiger Brown, J., Choi, M., Soeken, K., Vignola, V., Wagoner, D., Foley, J., Porter., (2006). Violence Prevention in the Mental Health Setting:  The New York State Experience.  Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 38(4).

Lipscomb, J., Chen, Y., Geiger Brown, J., Flannery, K., London, M., McPhaul, K., (2012). 

Workplace Violence Prevention in State-Run Residential Addiction Treatment Centers. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation. 42(1):47-56.

"Workplace violence is one of the most complex and dangerous occupational hazards facing health care and social service workers. The complexities arise, in part, from a health care culture resistant to the notion that health care providers are at risk for patient-related violence combined with the notion that violence (if it exists) is part of the job. The dangers arise from the absence of strong violence prevention programs and protective regulations. These factors, together with other organizational factors such as staff shortages and increased patient acuity, create substantial barriers to eliminating violence in today’s health care workplace.” School of Nursing faculty conduct research to understand the root causes of workplace violence and bullying in human and public service work and, most important, how to prevent the consequences of violence at work. Violence in hospitals can involve patients, visitors, and staff, but always results in disruption, temporary chaos, and significant costs to the organization. These include costs associated with lost work time, medical costs, legal liability, stress on patients and staff, and staff turnover. The center is evaluating the impact of a comprehensive violence prevention program on workplace violence and the stress associated with working in a violent environment. 

University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for School Mental Health (CSMH)

Contact: Ellie Davis


CSMH within the school’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is composed of an energetic and committed team, including youths and families, educators, social workers, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, psychiatrists, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, administrative staff, and other health and mental health staff. Our team members are advocates, clinicians, teachers, and researchers all working on the front lines of effective school mental health promotion. Through the participation in and development of a broad and growing community of practice, CSMH analyzes diverse sources of information, develops and disseminates policy briefs, and promotes the utilization of knowledge and actions to advance successful and innovative mental health policies and programs in schools. CSMH works with a wide range of stakeholders invested in integrated approaches to reduce barriers to student learning, including families, youths, educators, mental health and other child system staff, advocates, legislators, researchers, and government officials. CSMH will continue to host national and regional conferences to advance research, policy, and practice related to mental health in schools. In 2002, with support from HRSA, CSMH Assistance published a "Violence Prevention Resource Packet." This document summarizes best practices in violence prevention programs targeting at-risk youth.

University of Maryland Medical System Shock Trauma Violence Intervention Program (VIP)

Contact: Tara Carlson


Cooper C, Eslinger DM, Stolley PD. (2006) Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care: Volume 61 - Issue 3 - pp 534-540doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000236576.81860.8c

The Violence Intervention Program is determined to reduce the frequency and severity of recidivism for violent injury and criminal activity among people living in and around Baltimore. Committed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of "The Beloved Community," our services focus on the enhancement of personal strengths, conflict resolution, and the development of community relationships. The UMMS VIP is an intensive, hospital-based program that assists victims of intentional violent injury, including gunshots, stabbings, and beatings. Victims receive assessment, counseling, and social support from a multidisciplinary team to help make critical changes in their lives. However, the program also recognizes that victims of violence also may be perpetrators of violence. This dynamic plays an important role in the program but does not interfere with the overlying belief that reaching victims of violence in the hospital setting immediately after a life-threatening or life-changing event is an opportune moment to engage them for intervention. Individuals are not only experiencing a medical crisis at this time but also social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual crises. This approach also hinges on the reality that health care professionals are frequently the first, and sometimes the only, professionals who have the opportunity to intervene. The VIP model begins in the hospital and thrives in the community. Once victims of violent traumatic injury volunteer to participate in the program, they are paired with a case manager or outreach worker to assist with individualized action plans formulated to reduce risk factors correlated to violent recidivism. Strong partnerships with community providers are maintained to ensure successful referrals. In addition, multidisciplinary relationships are put in place to address mandated goals, such as parole/probation or court-ordered requirements (i.e., for perpetrators of violent crimes who are also victims of violence). VIP participants have peer support groups to practice new skill sets and celebrate personal accomplishments.

Social Work Community Outreach Services (SWCOS)

Contact: Wendy Shaia


SWCOS’ mission is to serve as a catalyst for inclusive and effective University/community partnerships that build individual, organizational, and community capacity. The vision of SWCOS is that Baltimore and Maryland will become socially and economically more robust through sustained University-community partnerships that foster civic-minded leadership and innovative community-engaged education, service, and research.