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© Dale Crosby Close for Mosaic 


© Dale Crosby Close for Mosaic 

A lot of research goes into creating our stories. Here are some of the resources we used to put together our story on the effectiveness of treating violence as a public health issue.

Headlines scream about “epidemics” of shootings and stabbings – but what if we took that literally? From Chicago to Glasgow, treating violence as a public health problem has produced great results. In this feature for Mosaic, Samira Shackle explores these approaches.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, here’s some further reading. We’ve broken things down into key subtopics, but otherwise these links aren’t listed in any particular order – so feel free to dip in and out.

The violent crime epidemic

This Guardian article summarises the lessons learned from a year spent reporting on knife crime in the UK. It’s the conclusion of Beyond the Blade, a series that marked the death of each child and teen killed by a knife in 2017, and which pursued the possible solutions to the issues surrounding knife crime.

Violence Info, a resource from the World Health Organization, draws on published scientific studies to create a comprehensive overview of research into violence and its prevention.

Ineffectiveness of imprisonment

This BBC Future article explores the impact of long prison sentences and looks at how Norway is taking an alternative approach.

This article in the Economist argues that locking up more people in the USA does not reduce crime, but does have a heavy social cost.

This Novara Media podcast explains what prison abolition is and what the alternatives are. It discusses the failings of the current system and the naivety of current plans for reformation.

Are Prisons Obsolete?, a book by Angela Y Davis, argues the case for the prison abolition movement in the USA.

The public health approach

This article in the Independent interviews Karyn McCluskey to find out more about her role in reducing youth murders in Scotland, and looks at how she is urging London to treat violence as a ‘disease’.

This NHS publication on the public health approach to violence outlines the extent and impact of violence in England and Wales, looks at the key risks and protective factors for violence, and contains details of interventions and policy measures that have been effective in preventing it.

This TED Talk by Gary Slutkin explains the genesis of the idea of treating violence like a disease and how he established Cure Violence, which uses epidemic control methods to reduce violence.

This documentary film from the USA’s Public Broadcasting Service followed the work of three violence interrupters in Chicago over the course of a year as they protected their communities.

The Cure Violence website provides information about their mission, methods and results.

Read more Mosaic stories on crime

In ‘The women that kill, abuse and torture’, Katharine Quarmby interviews Marian Partington, who is working to forgive Rosemary West – one of her sister’s killers – because she thinks the only way to break the cycle of female violence is to understand it.

In our short ‘This is what it’s like being a woman who works with violent women’, Anna Motz, a clinical and forensic psychologist and psychotherapist, explains the impact her work has had on her life so far.

In our short ‘Should fewer women be behind bars?’, Katharine Quarmby explores the challenges women in prison face and the moves to reduce the number jailed.

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