children coloring a nature pictureFor the last three years, we have been working with local elected officials, including the Madison Mayor and Dane County Executive, government agencies, community-based organizations, and many other community stakeholders to understand the violence prevention landscape in Madison and Dane County.

The Roadmap

In March 2021, we launched the Madison Dane County Violence Prevention Roadmap, a comprehensive violence prevention plan that takes a public health approach to violence prevention.

The plan will use science and data to better understand the problems, and will leverage the expertise and experiences of partners across numerous sectors to execute the plan. Collectively, we seek to address the many risk factors of violence and to build on and further the protective factors. We also will incorporate continuous community engagement, and as such, this document will remain a living document that can be amended to accommodate evolving issues, trends, and priorities.

Read more in our Roadmap. This plan includes five goals for reducing violence in our communities:

  • Goal 1: Understand Violence in Our Community through Data
  • Goal 2: Support Community Engagement with Children, Youth and Families
  • Goal 3: Foster Strong Neighborhoods
  • Goal 4: Bolster and Increase Intervention and Continuous Healing for Those Affected by Violence
  • Goal 5: Strengthen Community Capacity, Engagement, and Coordination of Violence Prevention Efforts

Overview of Violence Prevention activities:

The Madison Dane County Violence Prevention Coalition

Community Safety Intervention Team (CSIT)

  • Information sharing within a multi-disciplinary team that responds to gun violence and intervenes in potential future violent activities

Community-Based Crime Reduction Downtown Grant (or BCJI/CBCR grant)

  • Partnership with Madison Police Department and other community organizations to address crime and violence in the downtown area

Community Alternatives Response Emergency Services (CARES)

  • Partnership with Madison Fire Department to respond to mental health related crisis and emergency calls and connect people with Journey Mental Health for services

Why it Matters

  • Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home and community
  • Violence is a widespread public health issue that has a profound impact on immediate and lifelong health, opportunity and well-being

Exposure to and engagement in violence often results in higher risk of negative physical or mental health impact, experiencing other forms of violence, and challenges across the lifespan, including but not limited to barriers to education, employment, and housing. These consequences also have cumulative negative impacts on the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.

What the Data Shows

  • 2020 saw a steep rise in violent crimes and shots fired in both Madison and Dane County.
  • 2021 saw increases in violence across the United States. Researchers posit that the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deepening of social and economic disparities have contributed to this marked increase in violence.
  • Changes in social environments related to the pandemic, including increased time spent in home environments, have also raised the alarm for many social service providers and researchers concerned with increasing cases of child abuse, intimate partners violence, and other forms of violence within home environments.

Next Steps

Over the coming months, Public Health Madison & Dane County will present an in-depth intro to the Madison Dane County Violence Prevention Roadmap, hire two new positions to add capacity to the Violence Prevention Unit, work with data partners to develop preliminary Roadmap evaluation metrics, and reconvene the Madison Dane County Violence Prevention Coalition to get started on Roadmap implementation.