Violence Intervention Program (VIP)
The Violence Intervention Program (VIP) provides proactive and holistic support to individuals in Memphis affected by violence. VIP reduces violence in our community by engaging at-risk individuals affected by or vulnerable to gun violence through suppression and prevention.
VIP recognizes that there are victims on both sides of the gun and engages individuals most at risk for being involved in gun violence or retaliatory violence in the following three ways:
- Focused Deterrence
- Outreach & Support
VIP Participants are given information, support, and resources to help them change their lives. Participants are also informed about their risk of death and prosecution should they or their associates continue to engage in violence.
VIP started its intervention and focused deterrence programs in the fall of 2022. Since the program’s inception, 91% of participants have not reoffended.
The 901 Bloc Squad is a team of trained interventionists that connect with individuals to promote positive choices and helps them access supportive services. The Bloc Squad assists participants with changing their behaviors so that they can pursue a productive life and provides case management for at-risk girls and boys and does one-to-one mentoring with our participants to understand their needs.
3029 Street Intervention touches
VIP has created partnerships with hospitals to provide in-hospital intervention services to gun violence victims and their families. Hospital-based interventionists provide support and services to help survivors heal, prevent retribution and retaliation, and remain safe. Participating hospitals include Regional One, Methodist, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
11 Hospital interventions
VIP has recently added Frayser Community Schools (MLK Preparatory High School, Humes Middle School, and Westside Middle School) to our network. We provide onsite intervention and referrals for mentorship, mental health, GED prep, and other social services.
Each week, VIP Identifies individuals likely involved in gun violence, events likely to result in retaliation, and contacts those involved to get them connected to services using two methods – Community Call-ins and Custom Notifications.
In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, the US Attorney, the Shelby County District Attorney, and the Memphis Police Department, individuals involved or at risk to be involved in violent crimes are identified. The primary message is that the violence must stop! Call-In participants are also given a message of caring and the power of choice. They are given information to help them make informed decisions about their behavior. Referrals to services and/or paths to employment are offered barrier-free. The only requirement is that the participants and their associates stop engaging in violence.
The VIP team selects individuals for custom notifications
Contacts the individual with a date, time and location to meet
he VIP team meets with the individual to deliver the message that the violence must stop and offers alternatives and support.
If the individual has not contacted the outreach coordinator within 48 hours, the coordinator will contact the individual to discuss their interest in receiving supportive services.
- Individual is then referred to service provider networks
- The VIP follows up periodically with those that decline services to remind them that we are here for support when they are ready to make a change.
Internal and external data is captured and updated to track the individual’s progress and recidivism.
Custom Notifications Were Identified & Contacted
Custom Notifications Performed
Participants Helped & Referred to Services
These numbers reflect YTD since the program’s outreach started in the Fall of 2022
Outreach and Support
VIP partners with local agencies to provide supportive services (i.e., job support, expungements, and counseling) to individuals identified through the focused deterrence and intervention programs. Mentorship is the number one requested service.