The Trace—On Patrol With Chicago’s Last Violence Interrupters

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.”

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

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.”

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

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.

Vox—Trump: Murder is at a 45-year High. Actual Statistics: That’s not Remotely True.

Vox—Trump: Murder is at a 45-year High. Actual Statistics: That’s not Remotely True.

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.”

The Atlantic—Treating Young Offenders Like Adults Is Bad Parenting

The Atlantic—Treating Young Offenders Like Adults Is Bad Parenting

“No one has ever been able to find direct, defensible evidence that the behavior of the system regarding juvenile versus adult jurisdiction plays a direct role in overall crime trends,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center. “Crime trends behave the way they behave, and they have a lot more to do with general conditions in the community and everything else. If you’re working in the system, you start developing the belief that you are in control of these trends. Whenever people look at it seriously, it’s never true.”

The Atlantic—Judge’s Football Team Loses, Juvenile Sentences Go Up

The Atlantic—Judge’s Football Team Loses, Juvenile Sentences Go Up

Jeffrey Butts, the director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the study seemed like “academic clickbait.” What are judges supposed to do, he asked rhetorically, not handle cases in the week following each unexpected loss? Butts is open to good data analysis, he said, and appreciates transparency, but he has concerns about what he sees as a movement toward using large data sets for things like predictive policing, where police use math and data analysis to pinpoint potential criminal activity. That may be acceptable as long as it’s one tool in many, he said, but data shouldn’t drive the entire justice system.

Reuters—Parole System Questioned After Murder of NBA Star’s Cousin

Reuters—Parole System Questioned After Murder of NBA Star’s Cousin

Some criminal justice experts caution that limiting early release programs or imposing harsher sentences could backfire by increasing costs, straining overcrowded prisons and eliminating incentives for prisoners to behave well while incarcerated. "It's easy after the fact to say: 'If I were king of the forest, I would never have let these two guys out,'" said Jeffrey Butts, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York who studies the effectiveness of criminal justice programs.

Reuters—‘Drug Courts’ Scrutinized After Shooting of New York City Officer

Reuters—‘Drug Courts’ Scrutinized After Shooting of New York City Officer

"It's all about reducing probabilities," said Jeffrey Butts, director of the research and evaluation center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. "That doesn't mean that things won’t happen."

Think Progress—New California Law Seeks To Reduce Violent Encounters Between Cops And Mentally Ill People

Think Progress—New California Law Seeks To Reduce Violent Encounters Between Cops And Mentally Ill People

Nevertheless, the bill has significant limitations, and Jeffrey Butts, Director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes that the law is predicated on a number of assumptions about what kinds of systems are already in place to track firearms. “One problem with the new law is that it presumes a good firearms database that’s up-to-date,” Butts told ThinkProgress, “It also presumes that there’s some meaningful connection between the registration of a purchase and the presence of those weapons in that home, at that time.”

Think Progress—Could An Improved Mental Health System Stop The Next Elliot Rodger?

Think Progress—Could An Improved Mental Health System Stop The Next Elliot Rodger?

As criminologist Jeffrey Butts explained to ThinkProgress, “Police are trained not to react too aggressively to the mentally ill and to avoid arrests if at all possible. In the past, people with mental illness were too often arrested for simply behaving strangely and not responding to instructions when confronted by police.

L.A. Times—Attacks on Jews Show a Troubling Increase

L.A. Times—Attacks on Jews Show a Troubling Increase

But Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, cautioned that it might be a stretch to link the knockout game with a rise in anti-Semitic assaults. First, he said, there is no proof that the incidents were linked, or even that any kind of formal game existed, and second, the main motivation of the game was not hatred for a particular group, but "social distance."

Christian Science Monitor—’Knockout Game’

Christian Science Monitor—’Knockout Game’

The lack of data conclusively tying the incidents to racism should preclude people from drawing inferences, Jeffrey Butts, a researcher at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told a New York radio station on Monday, “because that encourages you to think about this as a racial behavior” when it may be more about “the age of the perpetrators … [and] social class.”