The New ‘Superpredator’ Myth

by Alex S. Vitale
March 23, 2018 — read the original

The criminologist John DiIulio sparked a panic in 1995 when he predicted there would be an explosion of juvenile superpredators in the coming years, resulting in widespread violence. His baseless theory was wrong; youth crime has fallen dramatically ever since.

… Instead of doubling down on gang-suppression policing, New York City should invest in better alternatives. The city supports 18 Cure Violence programs to reduce shootings. The program’s sites, often a substantial portion of the area’s police precincts, rely on community-based “violence interrupters” who work with young people. New York also promulgates anti-violence activities like art programs and service projects.

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice reported last fall that neighborhoods with Cure Violence sites had significant crime reductions compared with similar areas without them. In the East New York site run by Man Up, gun injury rates fell by 50 percent over four years; the control site in East Flastbush fell by only 5 percent. Similarly, shootings were down by 63 percent in the Save Our Streets South Bronx area, but only 17 percent in the East Harlem control neighborhood.

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