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‘This is our opportunity’: Eskenazi violence prevention program helps more than 1,000 people since inception

Eskenazi Hospital
Posted at 6:53 PM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 18:53:30-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Hope is something many who have gone through a traumatic violent injury may lose during recovery, but one violence prevention program out of Eskenazi Health is looking to change that.

“They’re the type of people that always have your back. They’re always there,” Isley Carter said. She has been in the program for several months.

“First shot that rang off, I was standing in front of my window and I got hit,” Carter said. In November of 2021, the 28-year-old and her dog were shot after an argument over a parking spot in the City of Indianapolis.

She was rushed to Eskenazi for treatment.

“[I] had to have a lot of surgeries in order for me to get back to where I needed to be. It’s been a long road since I’ve been upstairs for sure,” Carter said.

“Prescription for Hope,” a violence reduction program offered through Eskenazi, played a pivotal role in Carter’s road to recovery.

“They’ve been by my side from the very beginning and when I got out, they never left,” Carter said.

The idea of the program is to connect patients who suffered a violent injury — shooting, stabbing or assault — with tools for a successful recovery.

“We approach them to see if they’re ready to change whatever in their life that may have gone wrong that got them put in that situation in the first place,” Eskenazi’s Injury Prevention Coordinator, Blakney Brooks, said.

From the start of 2022 through August, Prescription for Hope has helped around 90 people. By year’s end, Brooks said she hopes to help 150 people. Since starting in 2009, the program has helped more than 1,000 people.

“Sometimes they’re perpetrators, sometimes they’re victims, we don’t judge. We’re there to help and give them that guidance,” Brooks said.

Curtis Gray is on the Prescription for Hope team as a victim’s advocate. He is there to mentor those including Carter.

“It gives you hope and that’s what we try to pass onto them. That if you just make the right decisions, we’re here with the resources, but the decision is on you,” Carter said.

The job for Gray is personal. Nearly 10 years ago, he was shot during a carjacking.

“It’s a constant in my mind that what we do is important because of what I went through,” Gray said.

The program has several goals including:

  • "Reduce recidivism of violence-related injury and readmission"
  • "Reduce repeated criminal activity and arrest"
  • "Develop effective life skills for responsible citizenship behavior"
  • "Provide community education and information on violence and crime prevention to create safer homes and neighborhoods"
  • "Create a network of community agencies and programs to serve as partners to provide accessible services for assistance and personal development"

“It doesn’t matter where you were shot or stabbed, it doesn’t even matter what hospital you went to. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, it could’ve been three years ago. We’re here and we’re ready to help with whatever it is that you need help with,” Brooks said.

As for Carter, she is thriving in her recovery, and she credits that to Prescription for Hope.

“I love them. They’re awesome,” Carter said with a smile.

For those looking to learn more about this program or enrolling, you can call 317-880-5045.