Gun violence is a catastrophe affecting over 500 people's lives globally. Gun-related
violence threatens fundamental human rights of life and safety. In the US, gun violence has been
on the rise affecting mainly the marginalized communities such as; people of color and women.
Two study publications relatable to violence mitigation have featured in this study. Prevention
policies to prevent and address gun violence can help guarantee families' and communities'
safety. The findings in the peer-reviewed literature of the two studies have been presented in the
first part of the study. The second part summarizes the literature review of the two studies and
the relevance of the topic to my course.
Part 1: Findings in the study
According to Wong & Gordon (2013), employing the Violence Reduction Program
(VRP) is necessary to disrupt and modify emotions and behaviors that impact and maintain
violence. Participants in the study are medium- to high-risk non-sexual violent offenders and
forensic patients. The VRP heeds to the incremental learning approach that is implemented in
three phases. Phase 1 identifies the treatment target, Phase 2 implements skills to manage
violence, and Phase 3, which is the practice of the skills acquired in phase 2. Success in the VRP
program is weighted on achieving specific goals and objectives measured using the Violence
Risk Scale (VRS). The VRP is a treatment program exploited to reduce violent behaviors to
mitigate crime related to violence.
In the study by Cunningham et al. (2012), patients were treated using the Randomized
Control Trial (RCT) that admitted 14-18 years peers to be treated in the Emergency Department
ED. In the randomized control trial, random assignment and assessment were partly
computerized and relied on therapy care. Computer-administered Brief Intervention CBI and
Therapist-administered Brief Intervention TBI are the two Brief Intervention (BI) strategies used
in the RCT. The randomized control trial considered age, gender, race, and ethnicity diversity
when selecting participants.
Wong & Gordon (2013) use the Stage of Change Model to measure participants'
preparedness for treatment. At the end of treatment, the Stage of Change for every participant is
reassessed to measure the quantitative reduction in violence risk (Wong & Gordon, 2013). In the
same case, 918 medium- to high-risk non-sexual offenders from Canada and 65 psychopaths for
fidelity are used. The VRP uses a goal-based rather than a session-based approach to deliver
treatment and measure performance. Two profiles of applicants screened for preparedness and
were subject to treatment using the VRP model.
Adolescents who displayed any signs of medical instability or abnormality were excluded
in the emergency department ED for the fidelity of the study (Cunningham et al., 2012).
Adolescents displaying past-year aggressive behaviors and alcohol consumption at least twice or
thrice in the past year were eligible for the RCT. In the same study, peer violence, alcohol use,
and alcohol consequences are also used to measure results. Brief interventions in the RCT were
either computerized by the use of CBI or conducted manually by the use of TBI to treat urban
In the Wong & Gordon (2013) study, motivational interviewing is used alongside
Multisystemic Therapy (MT), Aggression Replacement Training (ART), Relapse Prevention
(RP), and the Transtheoretical Model (TM). The RCT by Cunningham et al. (2012) utilized Brief
Intervention in the program. The Violence Risk Scale VRS used by Wong & Gordon (2013),
identified 30-60% incidence in the treatment targets. To accommodate participants with diverse
needs, the VRP is sufficiently flexible. Cunningham et al. (2012) used the Brief Interventions
method to empirically reduced peer aggression and alcohol abuse.
The findings will acknowledge me on the most effective intervention strategy in reducing
violence. The findings of these studies inform me how I can use motivational interviewing in my
practice to curtail gun violence. However, the use of Motivational Interviewing alone is not a
sufficient intervention method considering the heterogeneity of the individuals (Wong &
Gordon, 2013). From the outcomes of these studies, I learned intervention settings, how to
identify risk factors in participants and how to implement intervention strategies. Increasing
incidences of gun violence drove me to study Motivation Interviewing as an intervention
strategy. The outcomes of this research can be utilized to limit gun violence and improve the
general well-being of society.
Part 2: Summary of the literature review
Motivational interviewing will enable me to pick up strategic interventions to reduce gun
violence. The topic will prepare me to identify risk factors and suitable demographic profiles
during interventions to trim gun violence. I will clearly understand how to apply motivational
intervention in my practice to limit violence empirically. From this topic, I will learn how to
examine intervention outcomes through data analysis and categorize data for the most accurate
Violence is a psychiatric trait that the treatment of the offender can amend. In Wong &
Gordon (2013) study, medium-to high-risk offenders and forensic patients participate in the VRP
program. Those with cognitive disorders or APD also participate in the program because of their
violent behaviors. The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised PCL-R evaluates interpersonal behaviors
and dysfunctional lifestyles in psychopathy patients (Wong & Gordon, 2013). To reduce
violence risk in the psychopathic participants, one should mitigate the criminogenic need that
links them to violence (Wong & Gordon, 2013). When psychopathic offenders are at high drop-
out risk, motivational interviewing should be used extensively in the program.
Cunningham et al. (2012) used a tactic scale to quantify severe aggression in peers over
the past year. A binary variable (no/yes) was used to compute past-year violence and
victimization among adolescents. Cunningham et al. (2012) integrated computer-based
intervention and therapist-administered intervention delivery modes based on motivational
interviewing to limit violence and peer aggression. SafERteens' study relevant for urban youth
was used in the same study to evaluate the samples. SafERteens' study gauges peer aggression,
peer victimization, and violence consequences in peers. SAS is used in the study to give the
descriptive statistics, and the 12-month outcomes were calculated using the generalized
estimating equations (GEE). There were no significant contrasts between age, race, and gender
and hence were not included in the GEE analysis.
A total of 3338 peers were screened in the brief intervention program of Wong &
Gordon (2013). Of those samples726 tested positive for violence and alcohol use, and only 84%
completed the 12-month follow-up (Cunningham et al., 2012). Samples in Cunningham et al.
(2012) case were 43.5% male and 55.9% African American. TBI contenders exhibited a 43%
reduction in severe peer violence compared to 26% in the CBI and control conditions. There was
a 23% reduction in peer victimization among TBI participants compared to 17% and 12%
reductions in the CBI and control conditions. Participants under TBI showed a 36.1% reduction
in violence-related consequences compared to 31% of CBI and control conditions. TBI is,
therefore, a more effective brief intervention model compared to CBI and control conditions.
Administering treatment to violence-prone offenders was conducted in two profiles
(Wong & Gordon, 2013). The VRP is delivered in a group format in addition to individual
efforts to participants who are not compliant with the group format or face rejection by the group
due to capricious behavior. VRP is flexible enough to accommodate all those heterogeneous
people (Wong & Gordon 2013). VRP can be applicable in lock-up and psychiatric hospital
settings, and delivery length hangs on participant responsivity. The implementation efficacy of
VRP is determined by the treatment environment, target participants, resources, recruitment, and
existing interventions. Staff delivering the VRP program undergo initial and in-service training.
Multidisciplinary treatment teams worked collaboratively to achieve the VRP objectives.
In the Cunningham et al. (2012) case, some 20 peers would be subjected to TBI to protect
them from peer victimization. The significant reduction in violence is relatable to heightened
self-motivation and self-efficacy. The therapist intervention's high efficacy may be promoted by
increasing motivation, self-efficacy and improving skills for anger management and conflict
resolution. TBI and CBI cover multiple-risk behaviors that can be assessed to give outcomes in
the motivational interviewing.
Outcome research by (Wong & Gordon, 2013) was conducted on the Aggressive
Behavioral Control ABC program based on its' extensive history and correspondence to the
VRP. A sample of 31 participants enrolled in the treatment were locked up in a super-maximum-
security prison for violent offenses such as murder. Similar demographic and criminological
features were considered when selecting participants. The aim was to readapt them to a regular
minimum-security prison. Over 80% were reintegrated successfully without going back to
maximum security within the 20 months follow-up period. A matched control design was used to
juxtapose relapse among a gang group put through the ABC program and another group with
little or no treatment within 24 months. After only eight months of treatment, the treated group
recorded lowered incidences of recidivism and institutional misconducts compared to matched
controls. In another outcome study, 34 treated psychopath results were compared to 34 untreated
controls. The treated psychopaths showed less reoffence incidence compared to the untreated
Using the VRP model is empirical in minimizing the risk of violent recidivism and institutional
negligence. Offender rehabilitation prevents violence-prone offenders from recidivism and the
safety of the people they make contact with. VRP has been influential on hardened criminals and
offenders who are potentially difficult to manage. Correction authorities may implement VRP to
rectify behaviors in lock-up facilities. Brief intervention programs by the emergency department
are effective in reducing violence and victimization among peers. Using CBI and TBI
interventions integrated into brief interventions are effective in delivering motivational
interviewing. The VRP and brief intervention models can be used to measure and curtail gun
violence in society.
Cunningham, R. M., Chermack, S. T., Zimmerman, M. A., Shope, J. T., Bingham, C. R., Blow,
F. C., & Walton, M. A. (2012). Brief motivational interviewing intervention for peer
violence and alcohol use in teens: one-year follow-up. Pediatrics, 129(6), 1083-1090.
Wong, S. C., & Gordon, A. (2013). The violence reduction programme: A treatment programme
for violence-prone forensic clients. Psychology, Crime & Law, 19(5-6),