Jeffrey Butts interviewed for this story on Fox News, July 30, 2020.
[Cure Violence workers] “try to stop the cycle of retaliation, and because they are not seen as an extension of law enforcement, the people most likely to be walking around with handguns in their pocket will talk to them and will allow them to settle a dispute before it turns violent,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes there are productive ways for police and violence interrupters to work together.
Causal relationships are difficult to identify in complex and multi-part initiatives, but New York City’s falling rate of gun violence suggests that recent community initiatives may have helped to sustain previous gains.
Jeffrey Butts, Shadoe Tarver, and Jessica Mofield explain how many communities in New York City are working with Cure Violence groups to reduce shootings.
While effects are modest and largely found in misdemeanor offenses, this rigorous test of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety indicates that New York City’s effort to improve the safety of public housing communities was beginning to show benefits by the end of 2019. Based on these findings, the results of MAP are promising.
Those supportive of reform may be quick to reverse themselves out of fear of being cast as soft on crime, so new initiatives need to be protected with solid evidence. If a city wanted to radically reduce expenditures on policing, Butts said, “I would totally back it, but I would be terrified we would squander all the good energy by not being fully prepared.”
Not being able to see family in person for a prolonged period can be incredibly harmful for children, said Jeffrey Butts, a research professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He called it a destructive practice that prioritizes the institution’s needs over the children’s.