Public Safety, Violence and Injury Prevention
Domestic violence, gun violence, childhood trauma
High rates of violence affect the quality of life in Hampden County. High crime rates, interpersonal and community violence, low incomes, and lack of affordable, safe housing are challenges facings many residents in Hampden County, and many of these factors are magnified in the urban centers.
All communities should have adequate social services to meet the basic needs of community members and to promote general well-being. However, the criminal justice system has too often been used to deal with issues that deserve a public health response, threatening community health and social connection. Many individuals have been subject to harsh sentences or incarceration when treatment and service provision would be more effective at promoting community wellness.
Organizations, agencies, and communities of Hampden County are already exploring violence prevention strategies that focus on the institutional- and community-level drivers of crime. This includes purposeful community building and engagement efforts. Specific examples include the Counter Criminal Continuum (C3) in Springfield and the Holyoke Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. At the core of any successful crime reduction strategy is a culturally competent and diverse cross-sector partnership that provides a more appropriate public health intervention, especially for communities that are highly impacted by violence.
The Public Safety, Violence and Injury Prevention Domain Team chose the following strategy to implement in 2019-2020:
Meeting Agendas and Notes
- Violent crime
- injury & deaths (broken down by intentional injury – gun violence, domestic violence, suicide)
- gun violence (arrests & injury due to gun violence)
- restraining orders filed
- # of calls to rape crisis centers and domestic violence hotlines
- # of sexual assaults (YWCA can get this)
- # of mentors
- # of restraining orders
- # of 51As filed for different reasons
- # of people looking for shelter due to domestic violence