CUNY TV's Diverse City program, hosted by Zyphus Lebrun, visits Port Richmond and neighboring West New Brighton on Staten Island to hear about a program in which former felons work with law enforcement to address the growing levels of gun violence.
Arnold Ventures asked the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to review and summarize the research evidence for policies and programs that reduce community violence without relying on police.
Violent crimes committed by juveniles rose a precipitous 64 percent from 1980 to 1994 according to a March 2002 study by the Urban Institute’s Jeffrey Butts and Jeremy Travis. This figure includes forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, but to underscore the horror of this era, arrests for murder alone “jumped 99 percent during that time.”
"It’s where the story begins and where our attitudes begin in terms of how we perceive law enforcement," said Jeffrey Butts, a research professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "If you’re pulled over all the time, and you think other people are behaving the same way you are, but they’re pulling you over, you immediately start thinking that police are biased, which means government is biased, which causes you to doubt the whole enterprise of democracy and government. So, it’s really serious."
Participated in a discussion as part of the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC.
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.