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Measuring Impact

Measuring Impact

ONSE’s violence intervention program generally measures impacts in two ways: 1) long-term goals vs. short-term goals; and 2) outcome measures vs. process measures. To ensure accountability and transparency, we will be sharing our process and preliminary results quarterly.

Long-Term Goals: If our violence intervention programs are successful, long term there should be:

  • Sustained reduction in violent gun crimes, shootings, and homicides in ONSE priority communities.
  • Reduction in recidivism and victimization of the at-risk populations we work with.

Short-Term Goals: Research suggests it can take three years of relentless community work before we begin to reap the benefits of prevention and intervention investments. On our path towards our long-term goals, we are measuring our ability to reach and have meaningful impact on people and communities:

  • Building trust with individuals in priority communities at risk of being a victim or perpetrator of gun violence.
  • The at-risk individuals we work with are on a path towards changing and transforming their lives. We work with them to address their most urgent needs and personal goals. ONSE facilitates this process through the co-creation of an individual success plan, which tracks 35 outcomes that fall into seven categories — vital records, benefit enrollment, living, legal, education/employment, peacemaking, and service utilization. The number of outcomes they have achieved shows us how much progress is being made.
  • Hosting peacemaking conversations and negotiating ceasefires and mediations to address long-standing neighborhood or group conflicts that threaten the safety and stability of high-risk individuals and the communities they reside in.
  • Effective critical incident response to ensure information gathering for situational awareness, timely rumor control, and necessary de-escalation in the aftermath of a violent incident.

Current Impact

Current as of 11/15/2021

Since the launch of the ONSE violence intervention program in 2018, ONSE has been closely tracking crime trends in each of its priority communities. While there is much work to be done, early data suggests our violence intervention efforts are working. ONSE priority communities have experienced a decrease in overall violent crime, gun crime, shootings, and shooting victims, compared to year-to-date (YTD) 2020. Along with many cities nationwide, the District experienced a sharp increase in shootings and homicides in 2020, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. To see if shootings stabilized to pre-pandemic levels or if they are outperforming even pre-pandemic levels, we also compared YTD 2021 data to YTD 2019 data.

We found that shootings and shooting victims are also down, suggesting we are starting to see early signs of sustained decreases in shootings in some priority communities.

Citywide Impact on Violent Crime

The tables and charts below show the year-to-date change of violent crime and gun crime in ONSE violent intervention priority communities, compared to YTD 2020 and YTD 2019.

Overall, violent crime in ONSE priority communities are down 3% YTD compared to YTD 2020. Gun crime is also down (<1%).

  • Homicides are up 16% (5 homicides). Gun homicides are down 3% (down 1).
  • ADWs are unchanged from last year. ADW-gun is down <1%.
  • Robberies are down 13%. Robberies with a gun are also down (down 3%)

Overall Violent Crime in VI Program Areas - ONSE

The tables and charts below show a violent crime and gun crime in ONSE violent intervention priority communities and citywide. ONSE is outperforming citywide when it comes to gun crime. 

  • Violent crime decreased in ONSE priority communities, while it increased citywide.
  • Violent crimes with a gun decreased in ONSE priority communities, while they increased citywide.
  • Homicides, robberies, and assaults with a deadly weapon decreased in ONSE priority communities, while they increased citywide.

YTD Violent Crime Comparison 2021 vs 2020

Shootings in ONSE Areas

Visit the Metropolitan Police Department’s crime cards to see crime in other neighborhoods across the District.

Violent Crime Impact by Priority Community

When compared with YTD data citywide, the preliminary data across the Violence Intervention Program shows promise; however, to best examine our impact, we must also examine the data at the community level. In YTD 2021, out of 22 priority communities:

  • 14 experienced a reduction or no change in violent crime.
  • 9 experienced a reduction or no change in gun crimes.
  • 13 experienced a reduction or no change in homicides.
  • 16 experienced a reduction or no change from YTD 2020 in shooting incidents.
  • 13 experienced a reduction or no change from YTD 2020 in gunshot victims.

This is significant because during the first year of the pandemic (2020), we saw sharp increases in ONSE priority communities and citywide compared to the previous year. In YTD 2021, where we have continued to see increases citywide, in ONSE priority communities we have seen evidence of stabilization and in some communities, reductions when compared with pre-pandemic levels.  

YTD Change in Violent Crime by ONSE Community

Measuring Our Short-Term Impact With People

In addition to serving the larger community, violence interrupters are responsible for working with individuals at imminent risk of involvement in, or victimization from, violence. For simplicity's sake, we’ll call these individuals “high-risk residents.”

Building Trust

In 2021, violence interrupters provided intensive interventions to 99 high-risk residents in ONSE priority communities.

Tracking High-Risk Resident Outcomes

In 2021, ONSE violence interrupters helped high-risk residents move closer to addressing their most urgent needs and personal goals. Approximately 313 outcomes were achieved across categories.

  • 31 obtained an ID
  • 19 improved their housing stability
  • 35 secured permanent employment
  • 21 enrolled in a workforce development program

Measuring Our Short-Term Impact With Community


In 2021, ONSE intensified its focus on negotiating ceasefires and mediations, which is a central component of our violence intervention work. Close collaboration with community members who have influential relationships in impacted communities is critical to the success of these efforts. The graphic below outlines the tactics employed during peacemaking.

Peacemaking Tactics

In 2021, ONSE successfully negotiated one mediation and seven ceasefires.

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