Violent Extremism & Targeted Violence Prevention

Addressing Hate-Based and Grievance-Motivated Violence Escalation

There are many definitions of Targeted Violence and Violent Extremism used in public health research and within the prevention community. In the context of our community prevention efforts, understanding these nuanced definitions is crucial for effectively addressing and mitigating the risk factors associated with such violence. As it relates to the CCC’s work, Violent Extremism refers to any political, racial, religious, or extreme belief that actively condones violence as a method of furthering ideological goals.

Furthermore, we define Targeted Violence as any act of violence directed at a specific individual or group due to a perceived grievance, ideology, or hatred.

Regardless of how these terms are defined or categorized, there is undeniable evidence indicating a rising trend in such violent acts. Law enforcement has faced an increasing number of cases pertaining to terrorism and targeted violence, driven by many forms of hate-based extremism or personal grievances. Individuals are exposed to law enforcement at different stages on their path of mobilization to violence. While some of these individuals have fully mobilized and require arrest, others do not pose enough of a serious imminent security threat to warrant the full time and resources of the FBI, DOJ, state or local law enforcement. Arrest is not always an appropriate or viable option. There is an acute awareness, however, that something needs to be done. Taking a public health approach to prevention and intervention, the CCC has created programs to effectively redirect and demobilize these individuals.