by Kala Kachmar (@NewsQuip)
Louisville Courier Journal
November 17, 2021

… Crime data show police have responded to 508 nonfatal criminal shootings this year through Oct. 31 — a 2% increase over the same period in 2020, but a 96% increase from 2019 and 123% more than 2018. This year’s homicide count — 171 — will soon eclipse the 2020 year-end record of 173. That figure also has risen 25% over the same period in 2020 and 116% from 2019. But now, Louisville is putting more money toward a different path — one that aims to stem violence before it starts.

… Cities such as New York and Chicago have shown reductions in violence, often attributed to national models such as Advance Peace or Cure Violence, for example.

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is evaluating two crime reduction initiatives at the behest of New York City, which has been investing in a targeted focus on people involved in gun violence. They found the organizations funded through the city’s Office of Criminal Justice “don’t have enough information” because programs “aren’t asked to generate or collect data.” “Everyone is running around doing what they think is right,” he said. “Every neighborhood says they know their people, their guys, their culture. But that makes it impossible to say whether the program itself is responsible for improvements in public safety.”

Chicago, the home of Cure Violence, has a strong footprint for neighborhood programs, but Butts said there are still variations and inconsistencies. The model is based on a three-pronged approach: Detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating high-risk individuals and changing their social norms.

“The movement needs support with evidence and research, not just clever arguments,” Butts said. …

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ILLUSTRATION: ANDREA BRUNTY, USA TODAY NETWORK