Background: Hospital-based violence prevention programs have emerged at trauma centers nationwide; however, none has been thoroughly evaluated for effectiveness. Our Violence Intervention Program (VIP) conducted a prospective randomized control study to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention for repeat victims of violence.
Method: Patients admitted between 1999 and 2001 for treatment of injuries inflicted by a violent act were identified. Repeat victims of violence on parole/probation were invited to join the study. Participants were given a history-gathering questionnaire and randomized into two groups. Cases (intervention [n = 56]) received intensive psychosocial follow-up services, family or group therapy, and assisted with substance abuse treatment. Controls (nonintervention [n = 44]) received standard medical treatment and follow-through in accordance with standard parole or probation procedures.
Results: There was no significant difference in the number of arrests in the two groups. The control group was three times more likely to be arrested for a violent crime, two times more likely to be convicted of any crime, and four times more likely to be convicted of a violent crime. The projected time of incarceration is significantly longer for the control group. Repeat violent criminal activity was significantly more evident in the control group.
Conclusion: Significant differences exist between the VIP intervention and nonintervention groups in terms of the quantity and severity of criminal activity.