Newsday—Brentwood Residents Seek Gang Violence Solutions after Slayings

Newsday—Brentwood Residents Seek Gang Violence Solutions after Slayings

Sociologist Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said combating gang violence requires a multipronged approach that includes both enforcement and prevention. “There’s no single solution,” he said. “Every community that gets serious about this realizes they have to work on multiple fronts and multiple angles.” He said a key is to work with young people to prevent them from being recruited into gangs by instilling a sense of belonging and helping them repair relations with family and friends, building a sense of hope and finding out if there are problems at school and, if there are, finding out why.

Kennebec Journal / Morning Sentinel—Claudia Viles, Even After Tax Theft Conviction, Commands Community Favor

Kennebec Journal / Morning Sentinel—Claudia Viles, Even After Tax Theft Conviction, Commands Community Favor

“It’s not unheard of for good people to commit crimes; in fact, it’s common,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the John Jay College Research and Evaluation Center, a criminal justice academy in New York City. “Most of the people who get caught up in the justice system are not evil people in all areas of their life. A few are, but they’re a small proportion.”

Portland Press Herald—Recent Rape Offers Good Argument for ‘A Gun in Hand,’ Waterville Police Chief Says

Portland Press Herald—Recent Rape Offers Good Argument for ‘A Gun in Hand,’ Waterville Police Chief Says

Jeffrey Butts, director of the research and evaluation center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the Waterville chief’s comments are “typical of the immediate gut reaction to horrific crimes.” “It is easy to indulge in the Wild West fantasy that crime would be deterred if we were all armed all the time, and undoubtedly this is true,” Butts said Thursday. “But far more crimes would be created than prevented by widespread gun ownership.”

Tallahassee Democrat—Data Does Not Support State Attorneys’ Argument

Tallahassee Democrat—Data Does Not Support State Attorneys’ Argument

No credible study ever located the source of the crime drop in the power of prosecutors to send youth to adult courts and adult prisons. There is just no compelling evidence to suggest that prosecutors may rightfully claim the credit for falling rates of violent youth crime. Not even in Florida.

Gainesville Sun—Prosecutorial Power Unrelated to Drop in Crime

Gainesville Sun—Prosecutorial Power Unrelated to Drop in Crime

Despite a sustained effort to study these policies over the last two decades, researchers have not found that increasing prosecutorial power reduces crime, and the practice of putting young people in the adult criminal justice system is not only ineffective, it has many negative side effects.

The Morning Call—As Coplay Considers Curfew, Experts Question Effectiveness

The Morning Call—As Coplay Considers Curfew, Experts Question Effectiveness

But Jeffrey A. Butts, director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said data has shown that the more contact a young person has with the criminal justice system, the more disadvantages they experience in life — even compared with a person with a similar chaotic life. While the ideal vision of the system is one of rehabilitation and correction, Butts said that's not how much of the juvenile system works. Juveniles who get a record could head farther down a path of trouble and become increasingly leery and defiant of law enforcement, Butts said. Non-punitive intervention is best, he said.

The Seattle Times—Amid Decline in Juvenile Arrests, State Boot Camp Closes

The Seattle Times—Amid Decline in Juvenile Arrests, State Boot Camp Closes

The steep drop mirrors both an international trend in developed countries and a national one, according to Jeffrey Butts of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York. There’s no single reason for the decline, and in an email, Butts, director of the college’s Research and Evaluation Center, lists several, such as economic factors, better home security and theft protection on consumer products, and more ways for kids to entertain themselves rather than resorting to crime.

Lafayette Courier-Journal—Alternate Reality: Teens Run Court for Peers

Lafayette Courier-Journal—Alternate Reality: Teens Run Court for Peers

Jeffrey Butts, director of research at the City University of New York College of Criminal Justice, studied the impact of teen courts extensively. Butts believes their primary effect comes from the teens' experience in the courtroom, rather than their sentence. In his view, the most successful programs are the ones in which teens manage the courtroom, treating the process with professionalism and seriousness.

Trust in NYPD on the Rise in South Bronx, Survey Shows

Trust in NYPD on the Rise in South Bronx, Survey Shows

However, Delgado and Jeff Butts, director of John Jay's research and evaluation center, said they did not know yet whether these drops could be related to the increase in trust, and Butts cautioned against reading too much into numbers and trends that still only focused on a one year difference. "At this point, we don't really know about cause and effect," he said. "You always want to do a survey at least three times," he continued, "and some of them might be genuine, but others might disappear when you go to time three."

The New Orleans Advocate—In New Orleans, ‘Eligible’ Delinquents Increasingly Routed to Adult Courts, Prisons

The New Orleans Advocate—In New Orleans, ‘Eligible’ Delinquents Increasingly Routed to Adult Courts, Prisons

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said he believes the prosecution of youths as adults should be used when it’s clear a juvenile will likely continue to commit serious crime. Otherwise, it shouldn’t, he said. “It basically destroys a person’s future,” Butts said. “We know it makes things worse; but we use it if it’s necessary to prevent something even worse.”

Albany Times Union—Juvenile Justice Changes ‘Successful,” John Jay College Study Shows

Albany Times Union—Juvenile Justice Changes ‘Successful,” John Jay College Study Shows

Jeffrey Butts, a report author, criticized removing a young person from his neighborhood "in hopes that you can eliminate some of the negative influences when at the same time destroying the positive influences." He said nothing is added by keeping the youths too far away from home. Butts, the director of John Jay's Research and Evaluation Center, cautioned against reading too much into the numbers. Juvenile crime has been declining nationally for years and detention placements, among other factors, also declined. However, the report said, the program was successful in changing the culture of the juvenile justice system by enhancing the role of families and communities in the rehabilitation process.

Delaware News Journal—Search for Solutions to Violence is Ongoing

Delaware News Journal—Search for Solutions to Violence is Ongoing

Adding additional police is a typical reaction to outbursts of violence, but that's not enough, said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "City officials have to do something," Butts said. "They don't know where to turn. They don't have the luxury of making long-term investments to build strong communities, so they turn to the quick solution. ... If you never make those long-term investments, then you live in a constant state of emergency."