Young men living in neighborhoods with Cure Violence programs reported significant reductions in their willingness to use violence compared with men in similar areas without programs. Regression analysis explained 20 percent of the total variance in violence-related norms with significant reductions in willingness to use violence among young men in Cure Violence areas (–14%) and no significant change among residents in matched comparison neighborhoods.
According to data compiled by the National Center for Juvenile Justice and disseminated by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the court processing of juvenile delinquency cases has reflected persistent racial disparities since the 1980s.
The effect of the 20-year decline in violent youth crime is clear when viewing arrest rates over the long term. In 1993, police reported about 13 juvenile murder arrests for every 100,000 10-17-olds in the population. By 2015, the murder arrest rate had dropped 82 percent.
Young men in East New York report substantially greater confidence in law enforcement to help with neighborhood violence (30% in 2015 versus 19% in 2014), but they were only slightly more willing to contact police in the event of violence (42% vs. 40%). Exposure to gun violence decreased between 2014 and 2015, with fewer respondents having seen guns in their neighborhood in 2015 (34% vs. 46%), but the proportion of young men that reported hearing gunfire in their neighborhood remained high in both years (79% in 2015 vs. 83% in 2014).
This study’s main goal was to measure changes in violent norms and attitudes in specific areas of New York City. The survey measured each respondent’s willingness to use violence in 17 hypothetical confrontation scenarios that ranged from minor to severe provocations. An index (or a composite score) was created from all 17 scenarios.
This research brief presents results from one of the first neighborhoods to be involved in John Jay College’s evaluation of Cure Violence. The results depict the respondents’ personal attitudes toward violence and their experiences with violence, as well as their awareness of local violence prevention efforts and their confidence in police and local agencies.