DOI: 10.1177/10443894231222586 ISSN: 1044-3894

“We’re Not Miracle Workers”: An Examination of the Relationship Between Community Violence Intervention Workers and Their Participants

Kathryn Bocanegra, Nathan Aguilar
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Community violence intervention (CVI) programs are civilian-led, locally oriented efforts that center around street intervention work, which involves proactive community engagement of individuals at high risk of violent victimization or perpetration. CVI professionals are peer support workers who use their experiential wisdom to mediate violent conflict and prevent victimization through engaging high-risk individuals in social services. The study comprehensively examines the relationship between CVI workers, their clients, and challenges associated with their outreach and engagement via qualitative interviews conducted among 35 CVI workers and their supervisors in Chicago. Thematic analyses identified the challenges experienced by the workforce as “work as mission,” “tethered healing,” “tethered harm,” and “falling back.” The results also lend support to firearm violence reduction potential of this professional field.

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