Associated Press—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. The methods “are not necessary, they don’t work and they just lead to more violence,” said Butts, who has researched youth justice for nearly three decades.Continue reading Associated Press—Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons Struggle to Change Course

Cure Violence in New York City

Wall Street Journal—‘Interrupters’ Help Reduce Violence in New York City

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 they escalate, requiring the police. These “violence interrupters” and their tactics helped to drive down crime in East New York and the South Bronx, two neighborhoods analyzed in a John Jay College of Criminal Justice report.Continue reading Wall Street Journal—‘Interrupters’ Help Reduce Violence in New York City

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

Jeffrey Butts, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who is studying the effectiveness of Cure Violence, said it is unfair to argue that the arrest of an outreach worker means that the entire program should be disbanded. Everyone loves to jump on this story every time,” Butts said. “We never do that when a police officer shoots an innocent person. We may say, ‘We should be more careful who we hire,’ or ‘We need to train people better,’ but we never say ‘We should stop having police officers patrol our streets.’”Continue reading The Trace—Feds Say One of Chicago’s Last ‘Violence Interrupters’ Was Really a Gang Leader

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

Jeffrey Butts, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who is currently researching Cure Violence, said a different relationship develops in each city between police, outreach workers, and the community. He said that, in New York, a culture of respect has developed slowly, and now works well. “Everyone’s ideal is mutual trust and respect,” he said.Continue reading The Trace—New York City Embraces a Gun Violence Outreach Program Left on Life Support in Chicago

The Trace—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.

“Obviously, if you’re associated with law enforcement, it’s easier to attract funding than if you’re employing a lot of ex-gang members,” he said. “But you have to recognize that there is a place for both.”Continue reading The Trace—On Patrol With Chicago’s Last Violence Interrupters

Vox—Trump: Crime and Gangs are Ruining the Country. Actual Statistics: That’s Not Remotely True.

That’s not to say the 2015 murder increase isn’t alarming. Criminologists say it’s worth paying attention to, although we don’t really know why the rate increased in 2015 just yet. As John Jay College criminologist Jeffrey Butts put it to the Guardian, “You lost 50 pounds. You gained back a couple. You’re not fat. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at your behavior, because the trend is not good.”Continue reading Vox—Trump: Crime and Gangs are Ruining the Country. Actual Statistics: That’s Not Remotely True.

Wall Street Journal—Affordable Housing Coming to Jail Site in the Bronx’s Hunts Point

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Spofford was modeled on big, centralized detention centers that were rooted in the 19th century, he said. It was part of an era when “detention centers had become a way of punishing people even before they went to court,” Mr. Butts said.Continue reading Wall Street Journal—Affordable Housing Coming to Jail Site in the Bronx’s Hunts Point