Beyond Violence is a program launched in 2010 in the cities of Richmond and Antioch with the collaboration of John Muir Health's Trauma Department, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and community based organizations.
John Muir Health identifies trauma patients between the ages of 14-25 who are victims of intentional injuries (e.g. knife assault, gunshot, assault) and reside in East or West Contra Costa County. Identified patients are referred to a Beyond Violence Intervention Specialist (IS) from their community. The IS supports the injured patient and their family and friends cope with the injury, and assists the patient with follow-up care and connects them to community resources to promote healthy choices and avoid street violence.
This is a proven program that has been effective in reducing recidivism and retaliation in other metropolitan areas such Oakland, Chicago and Boston. Beyond Violence is modeled after Oakland's "Caught in the Crossfire Program," which has been successful in transitioning trauma patients from the hospital to the community.
"Marco recently achieved one of his short-term goals when he was able to walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma."
Marco, 19, was shot four times – twice in the stomach, once in the foot and once in the arm. He is currently unable to use his left arm because it was shattered by the bullet. Marco has had no previous injuries, gang affiliations or history with law enforcement. Marco was connected with a Beyond Violence intervention specialist while he was in the hospital. Marco and the intervention specialist worked together to empower Marco's life going forward. The intervention specialist assisted Marco in locating resources to help him pay for additional services, such as medical insurance, dental treatment and mental health counseling. He is also helping Marco submit an application for assistance from Victims of a Violent Crime. Marco is doing progressively better each day. He has not been re-injured or the perpetrator of any violence. He has had no contact with the police and continues to work on his life goals. Marco recently achieved one of his short-term goals when he was able to walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma. "I almost didn't make it to see this day come true," Marco reflects about his journey. He dreams of eventually going on to college after he progresses physically. Until then, his short term goals include finding a better job with more hours and preparing for college. Beyond Violence will continue to help Marco realize his potential as a hopeful young man.