Wishard attacking crime

June 22, 2013

I appreciated Mickey Maurer’s [June 10] commentary drawing attention to the fact that the overwhelming percentage of violent crimes is committed by repeat offenders.

We at Wishard track this problem closely at our emergency department and Level 1 Trauma Center. Violent injury is often a repeat event. Historically, 31 percent of our trauma patients with violence-related injuries returned to us with another violent injury.

In 2009, Wishard began Project Prescription for Hope to address the risk factors that perpetuate violence while we attend to a patient’s medical needs. Individuals admitted to the Level 1 Trauma Center with a gunshot wound, stabbing or other injury resulting from assault are encouraged to enroll in Prescription for Hope before leaving the hospital.

The program promotes personal and family empowerment by creating individualized plans for physical and mental health, education and training, employment, housing, daily living habits and social support.

The results are striking. Of the 370 patients enrolled since 2009, the recidivism rate has fallen to 4.6 percent compared to our historical baseline of 31 percent.

Of the 85 youth enrolled within the past 18 months, only 9.4 percent have committed new criminal offenses and just one has committed a violent crime with a weapon.

Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO and medical director
Wishard Health Services


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