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The Oaklandside- What do violence interrupters in Oakland do? We spoke with one to find out

Posted June 6, 2024

The Oaklandside’s Roselyn Romero sat down with Youth Alive!’s Citywide Violence Interrupter Doral Myles

Photo of Violence Interrupter Doral Myles sitting looking to to the side

Since 2016, Myles has been a violence interrupter with Youth Alive, an Oakland-based nonprofit working to break the cycle of violence through prevention, intervention, healing, and advocacy. This month marks Myles’ eighth anniversary working for the organization.

As a violence interrupter, Myles goes to the scene of shootings to provide immediate support and comfort to victims’ families, visits gunshot wound survivors in the hospital, and points people in crisis to resources. Sometimes, he’ll receive phone calls from clients asking him to intervene before a situation escalates. Occasionally, he’ll find himself talking cops down before they set off a riot.


“My job is basically trying to keep the problems down in the city of Oakland,” he said.


Violence interrupters do not work with the Oakland Police Department to find clients. Instead, they receive tips via email or phone call. They also communicate with local hospitals, including Highland, to conduct “safety assessments”—bedside visits in which violence interrupters will ask survivors if they’ll be safe after getting discharged and if they need someone to mediate any conflicts. In cases where retaliation or other further violence is likely, violence interrupters will sometimes help relocate survivors and their loved ones outside Oakland.

Last year, Youth Alive violence interrupters conducted 262 mediations and 207 safety assessments and relocated 43 families to safety, according to the program.

Read the Full Article Here.