Eskenazi Health programs tackle trauma, violent crime in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indy’s violent crime reaches historic levels, harming too many people in our community. Eskenazi Health offers two programs intervening in the lives of those at risk of criminal behavior.

“Violence is a symptom of trauma,” Blakney Brooks, Injury Prevention Coordinator for Prescription for Hope. “So, those that are committing those crimes have also been victims, and vice versa.”

Brooks sees too many patients who are stabbed, shot or assaulted, and encourages them to sign up for Prescription for Hope before leaving the hospital.

“We use that opportunity to talk to them about life choices and resources,” Brooks explained. “Things that they could be doing differently that will hopefully put them in a different situation next time.”

Once enrolled in Prescription for Hope, the patients speak regularly with the team anywhere from six months to a year.

“That could be either going to their house and seeing them, making phone calls, meeting them out in the community,” Brooks said. “So, we’ll meet them somewhere to discuss some of their needs.”

Tyrone Humphrey, the program manager for Indy HeartBeat, focuses on young people from babies to 18 years old.

“Violence can be curable,” Humphrey said. “We believe that it can be preventable. That’s why we’re here today and why we do the work we do.”

Indy HeartBeat builds relationships with kids who are not in trouble with the law or the courts, but show signs of heading that way. Once in the program, they continue supporting participants and their families.

“We continue to pull back the layers and address the issues as they come about,” Humphrey said. “We’re very patient with our families. We have no need to rush.”

Since 2016, the program has helped around 100 young people and none of them offended or re-offended during the program. Humphrey credits relationships with the kids and knowing the indicators that lead to violence.

“We believe that working quickly as a village is how we work with our families and get them to the appropriate services,” Humphrey said.

For more information about these programs, visit www.eskenazihealth.edu.

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