Study: Nearly a third of Pittsburgh homicides might have been prevented

Press release: More than 30 percent of the homicides in Pittsburgh last year were likely related to peer violence, not gang activity, and are the type of crime most readily prevented by early intervention, according to a first-of-its-kind report by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Community Violence Prevention Project.

“Casual observers often confuse gang violence and peer violence,” says Steven Albert, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at Pitt Public Health. “Peer violence may have different contributing factors and requires different interventions.”

The Prevention Project researchers recommend engaging individuals and families at risk for violence in non-traditional settings, including emergency room trauma departments.

“This is the best time for a ‘teachable moment,’” says Dr. Albert. “A specialized team of trained peer mentors can meet with family members in the waiting room. It’s a way to drive home the potential outcomes of gun violence.”

Read the complete releasePitt Public Health Study Finds Nearly a Third of Pittsburgh Homicides Might Have Been Prevented