Trying to Cut Crime in Public Housing by Making it More Livable

Working elevators, summer jobs for teenagers, community centers open till midnight, residents who know what to do when the trash piles up — no one would doubt that these are good things. But it seems a stretch to call them crime prevention measures. Will people really commit fewer robberies and shootings if the trash gets picked up?

The New ‘Superpredator’ Myth

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.

The Recidivism Trap

Rather than asking “what’s the recidivism rate?” we should ask an entirely different set of questions about justice interventions. Are we really helping people convicted of crimes to form better relationships with their families and their law-abiding friends? Are we helping them to advance their educational goals? Are they more likely to develop the skills and abilities required for stable employment? Are we helping them to respect others and to participate positively in the civic and cultural life of their communities?

‘Interrupters’ Peek at Social Media to Stop Street Violence

In all last year, the city’s Cure Violence sites — organizations that treat violence as a public health concern — intervened in 5,273 street and online conflicts, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which maintains the data. The agency did not have data on what percentage were online interventions. The Citizens Crime Commission is currently working to compile that data.

Prison Experts See Opportunity, Problems with Walker Plan

Juvenile justice experts cautioned Friday that while they see promise in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's dramatic plan to convert the troubled Lincoln Hills youth prison into an adult facility, its success largely depends on how well the changes are implemented.

Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons Struggle to Change Course

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, said the Wisconsin prisons’ problems come from poor management. Staff who argue they need things like pepper spray, solitary confinement and shackles are saying “our culture within the facility has become so corrupted by violence we have no other options,” he said.

‘Interrupters’ Help Reduce Violence in New York City

Cure Violence in New York City

Community members in Cure Violence program try to defuse disputes before they escalate By Zolan Kanno-Youngs (@KannoYoungs) Wall Street Journal October 2, 2017 They have prior criminal records but now aim to resolve neighborhood conflicts before they turn violent. They walk neighborhood streets on a daily basis and use their connections to resolve disputes before … Continue reading ‘Interrupters’ Help Reduce Violence in New York City

Feds Say One of Chicago’s Last ‘Violence Interrupters’ Was Really a Gang Leader

Francisco Sanchez said his days as a gang leader on Chicago’s West Side were over. At 50, he said he had seen numerous lives ruined by violence — young people losing the best years of their lives to prison; children left without parents in the name of petty disputes and turf wars. That’s why he became something else: a leader in an organization committed to ending gun violence.

New York City Embraces a Gun Violence Outreach Program Left on Life Support in Chicago

Cure Violence is expanding in the five boroughs February 9, 2017 by Ann Givens [ read the original at The Trace ] Two years ago, the Illinois legislature slashed funding for Cure Violence, a neighborhood-level violence-intervention program in Chicago that some researchers and community leaders had credited with easing tensions between rival gangs, and helping … Continue reading New York City Embraces a Gun Violence Outreach Program Left on Life Support in Chicago

On Patrol With Chicago’s Last Violence Interrupters

There is a constant struggle between street-work models that favor some cooperation with police, and those that favor total detachment, said Jeffrey Butts, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who is studying the effectiveness of Cure Violence. Butts said it’s not necessary to choose one or the other.