"If it's just supposed to send a message to that kid and all other people that we take this seriously and we're not going to stand for this behavior, therefore we're punishing you, then it accomplishes that purpose." But Butts says if the idea is to improve public safety or prevent future crime, decades of research show that is rarely the result.
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.”
"[Violence interrupters] are from the same streets, grew up in the same areas and had the same experiences as young people and so they just have more access and access means influence," said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "The possibility of influencing someone's behavior and attitude is stronger if you come at them as an equal."
Jeffrey Butts interviewed as part of a story covering the release of a new report from New Jersey Policy Perspective.
Jeffrey Butts joined Yuripzy Morgan on WBAL News Radio in Baltimore, where City officials are launching new efforts to reduce community violence.
Jeffrey Butts joins Amos Gelb and LaTrina Antoine with WYRP host Tom Hall in a discussion about the effectiveness of violence interruption programs.
On the September 19, 2021 episode of City Watch on WBAI 99.5 FM, Host Jeff Simmons focused on gun violence prevention with guests: Erica Ford, Founder and CEO of Life Camp Inc., New York City Councilmember Adrienne Adams, and Dr. Jeffrey Butts, Research Professor and Director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
I often wonder, how did we get here — ending August with 357 homicides, on track to be our deadliest year recorded for shooting deaths?... Other cities, like New York and Oakland, Calif., have been where we are today but made improvements. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A report published last year by John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center, authored by a diverse group of academic consultants, lays out a framework for action I believe we can apply in Philadelphia.
“The evidence is mixed,” Butts, who led the 2015 review and subsequent research on interrupters, said. “We need to do more studies.”