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CVI Glossary

A collaborative approach to addressing community violence.

The table below defines terms associated with community violence intervention. View the terms and definitions below or enter a keyword to search the table for a specific term.

The CVI Glossary is also available to download as a PDF.


Authentic Community EngagementCommunity engagement is authentic when people in authority show concern, empathy, and commitment to the people they serve. They are consistent in their outreach and connection to community residents and establish partnerships through engagements with community stakeholders who are recognized and trusted by residents in information gathering, planning, and decisionmaking.
Bias in DataMost datasets and resulting analyses include some form of bias. Bias in data results in findings that may not be representative of the population being studied or responsive to the research question. Bias in data can be caused by being unaware of the underlying assumptions in how the data were gathered. It is important to understand the biases in any dataset in order to make adjustments to the data itself, the analyses used, or the interpretation of the findings.
Community-based LeadershipCommunity-based leadership occurs when community members (rather than outside authority figures or organizations) conceptualize, implement, and manage an initiative. Community-based organizations often take on this role, representing the interests and input of residents and other stakeholders.
Community-based OrganizationA community-based organization is a nonprofit civil society organization that works to serve people in the community in which it is based. Activities and services that it provides can include healthcare, education, public safety, legal services, youth programs, employment, training, and advocacy.
Community-centeredCommunity-centered refers to the active, meaningful involvement of a wide range of community members in a community’s governing structure and other organizations that influence community decisionmaking.
Community Comprehensive PlanA community comprehensive plan is a document that guides a community’s future actions. Its aim is to achieve improved outcomes for individuals and families as well as improvements in community conditions by addressing needs in an integrated way across sectors. Such a plan often includes interrelated strategies focused on housing, employment, health, safety, and recreation, among other sectors.
Community Organization DataCommunity organization data are data collected by community-based partner organizations (e.g., youth centers, employment centers, CVI organizations), specifically focused on the services they provide and the constituents they serve.
Community Violence AssessmentA community violence assessment draws on multiple data sources to document where, what type, and when violence is occurring as well as to identify who is involved as victims, perpetrators, or both.
Credible MessengersA credible messenger is an individual with lived experiences and deep ties to the community they serve. Their credibility allows them to build relationships with community residents and stakeholders and intervene with individuals who are at risk of being involved in violence in a way that outsiders often cannot.
Evidence-InformedEvidence-informed indicates a practice is backed by evidence generated by multiple disciplines and a variety of methods and may include findings from research and evaluation as well as case studies, expert opinions, or documented lessons learned from the field.
InterventionAn intervention is an effort (e.g., activity, program, policy change) to change knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors after a problem has been identified. CVI focused interventions typically aim to end criminal or delinquent behaviors among specific individuals or groups already involved in delinquent/criminal behavior, including those that may have developed serious, violent, or chronic offending patterns.
Landscape AnalysisA landscape analysis outlines the strengths, resources, and needs of a particular community. The information gathered is used to map a community’s assets, needs, and aspirations, ensuring that they remain paramount when a new program is designed, priorities are set, and strategic decisions are made.
Law Enforcement DataLaw enforcement data are a primary source of information for the community violence assessment. They are derived from local or national law enforcement information systems and cover a wide range of violent crime offenses including homicide and firearm-related crimes. They can include arrest, incident, and calls-for-service data as well as probation/parole data.
Local AssetsLocal assets are people, places, and/or organizations that offer support, care, or services to the larger community.
Logic ModelA logic model is a description or graphic that shows the relationship between a program’s activities and the intended impacts of those activities. Logic models typically outline the relationship among program resources, activities, outputs, and outcomes. For collaborative efforts, a logic model also defines which impacts each partner is responsible for producing.
Outreach WorkerAn outreach worker is someone who works to connect with a community’s high risk individuals to build trust and relationships and to connect them to, and keep them connected to, formal programs and services.
Performance MeasuresPerformance measures are data that quantify whether, or to what extent, a component of a program has been implemented over time. Performance measures help an organization document whether a program is achieving its objectives.
Planning FatiguePlanning fatigue is a phenomenon in which prior efforts to solicit input from community members on planning and assessment process(es) did not include a feedback loop and/or create observable results for residents or stakeholders, leading to decreased willingness to participate in future planning/assessment efforts.
PreventionPrevention is an effort (e.g., activity, program, policy change) to change norms, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors to prevent a negative outcome. CVI prevention efforts typically focus on individuals who are not involved in delinquent/criminal behavior but who may be at risk of involvement.
Program EvaluationProgram evaluation is the systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of a program to make judgements about that program, improve program effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future program development.
Public Health DataPublic health data are data collected by public health organizations (e.g., hospitals, public health departments, behavioral/mental health agencies, community health centers). They can include violence-related injury data (including gunshot injuries), health and safety data, substance use and mental/behavioral health data, etc.
Research PartnerA research partner is someone with formal training and experience in research and evaluation, ideally in several different data collection methodologies, and in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Research partners may work at universities, research firms, or government agencies. An ideal research partner has several years of evaluation research experience, a history of partnership with community stakeholders, and experience with oral and written presentations of research results.
Root Causes of ViolenceRoot causes are the underlying community, family, historical, and societal factors that contribute to violence (e.g., poverty, abuse, trauma, lack of services and opportunities, personal associations).
StakeholdersStakeholders are those who may be affected by or influence an initiative, project, or program. A stakeholder may care about, be directly affected by, be able to help solve, bring knowledge or skills to, benefit from, or bring a diverse viewpoint to the initiative, project, or program.
SustainabilitySustainability is the capacity of a community to support an adaptive and effective program that produces and maintains positive outcomes over time. This capacity includes promoting public awareness and support for the program, engaging community partners and cultivating champions, evaluating processes and the program, ensuring funding and other in-kind support, and providing ongoing training and development of staff.
Systems-led LeadershipSystems-led leadership occurs when public sector partners conceptualize, implement, and manage an initiative.
Trauma-informedA trauma-informed program, organization, or system realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; and responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices. It seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.
Violence InterrupterA violence interrupter is someone who intervenes to prevent retaliation and other modes of violence spreading through a community by responding to shooting scenes and mediating active conflicts, among other actions.
Wraparound ServicesWraparound services are a coordinated and comprehensive approach to responding to the highest risk individuals. Wraparound services are community-based, individualized, holistic, and persistent efforts that put individuals at the center. They are flexible and change with the needs of those individuals.