Taking a deeper look into homicides throughout Allegheny County, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Community Violence Prevention Project has released its 2015 Homicide Review Findings Report.
Among its key findings are that of the 114 homicides committed countywide last year, 92 of the victims, or 81 percent, were Black, though African Americans account for only 13 percent of the county population.
That number represents a 21 percent increase from the previous year. However, though the bulk of the homicides were again committed within the city of Pittsburgh—with 17 percent committed within the East End––Police Zone 5, in 2015, saw a 33 percent increase in those committed outside the city.
Given this, and the additional findings that (in solved cases) the victim and perpetrator had some manner of peer conflict, the report recommends broader outreach and modification of service delivery criteria to reach youth at risk who are not currently mandated to receive them. Specifically the report calls for stakeholders to:
Identify and involve the support networks of at-risk individuals and, specifically, engage those at risk who are not currently involved in mandated health or behavior programs. Engaging individuals and families at risk of violence victimization in non-traditional settings (e.g., community-based organizations, primary care clinics) is a strategic way to address the complexity of peer conflict;