Improving Our Response to Gun Violence

By Karalyn Colopy

At the July 5 TPNA Board meeting, we welcomed special guest Azmen Johnson of Prescriptions for Repair (P4R) — a pilot project to help improve the way Durham addresses gun violence.  Launched in October 2022, P4R is supported for one year by the City of Durham, Duke, and NCCU.  

Ms. Johnson explained that normally when someone is shot, we focus public attention and funds on who committed the harm and how we punish them. The P4R pilot instead takes a restorative justice approach, focusing on the experience and needs of those who were harmed.  It provides an organized way for Durham residents who have been impacted by gun violence to tell their story, to identify what needs to be done to make things as right as possible, and to offer “prescriptions of repair” to the greater community.

As the Lead Facilitator of P4R, Ms. Johnson coordinates listening sessions, where trained volunteer facilitators listen in teams of two with one survivor.  Trinity Park neighbor Tiffany Florestal serves as a P4R Community Member Facilitator, explaining, “I listen to participants who share their stories and ideas for improvement within Durham.” She added, “Azmen’s ability to connect communities and people, even around a divisive topic like gun violence, is astounding.”

By the end of September, P4R will have met with 40 survivors. 

Advocacy, Health and safety, Neighborhood concerns