Using Contact Tracing to Reduce Gun Violence

The contact tracing that is all over the news since the start of the pandemic can arguably have an impact on gun violence in Chicago. At least that is what our guest, Dr. Andrew Papachristos, Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Northwestern Network and Neighborhood Initiative argued in his OpEd in The Hill recently.

This video is from our Facebook Live Interview series that occurs every Wednesday from 12-1pm (CT). Stream the interview live on our Facebook Page.

Dr. Papachristos argues that gun violence in Chicago is driven mainly by interpersonal conflict and much less by traditional gang violence Chicago is used to. This of course flies in the face of media reporting on crime in Chicago and the sound bites you get from the Chicago Police Department.

The high level of interpersonal violence that leads to gun violence lends itself to a public health type response that includes contact tracing with the delivery of direct services to the victim and the family and associates.

If we are going to go down this path Chicago is going to have to make rapid expansion of the direct services that are available.

In our wide ranging discussion we cover:

  • the current make up of gangs in Chicago
  • the differences between gang related and gang facilitated
  • how much more of Chicago’s gun violence is interpersonal rather than gang related
  • the differences between the CPD’s strategic subject list and the Network Analysis
  • the accessibility of guns in Chicago
  • how the response to gun violence in Chicago needs to change
  • the role social networks play in Chicago’s gun violence

It is a fascinating discussion that really dives deep in to the role social networks play in Chicago and how our response to gun violence which is centered in the justice system has us stuck in a loop we cannot breakout of.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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