St. Louis Post Dispatch — Milwaukee’s Cure Violence Program: Mixed Reviews and Lots of Hope

“I’m a big fan. I think [Cure Violence is] a very valuable asset for a community to have,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research Evaluation Center at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who has observed Cure Violence programs in New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia. “But it’s definitely possible to do it poorly."

Brooklyn Daily Eagle — Can you put a price on a life taken by gun violence? That’s the $36M question.

“People have tried to put a number on the cost of a death. If someone is shot — even injured — much less killed, there are policing costs,” Butts told the Brooklyn Eagle. “Someone has to show up to process the scene. There are prison costs for the shooter, and then all the other costs for family who have a person shot and or killed. There’s lifelong trauma, loss of income. You can actually estimate the total cost.”

Brooklyn Daily Eagle — More New Yorkers Serving Life in Prison are from Brooklyn than Anywhere Else in the City. Reformers are Calling for Relief.

It’s not possible to pinpoint exactly why Brooklyn has more people incarcerated with these long sentences using borough-by-borough numbers alone, said Jeffrey Butts, director of John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center. In order to determine why Brooklynites are serving so many life and virtual life sentences, Butts said, it would be necessary to control for specific crimes to then see if there is a pattern in sentencing.

Nashville Tennessean—Violent Crime on the Rise as Nashville Grows, but East Nashville Bucks the Trend

Another explanation could be an affordable housing crisis exacerbated by Nashville's booming economy, said Jeffrey Butts, the director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This can be particularly true for some neighborhoods. “The social stresses of shared housing and multifamily housing increase the chances that adolescents become frustrated and alienated," Butts said, creating an environment conducive to more crime.

Miami Herald—Lockup guard slugged a skinny kid. Prosecutors say it’s justified. Here’s the video.

An expert in juvenile justice policy and research said that prosecutors' justification for declining to press charges suggests an office-wide bias in favor of officers. "The memorandum from the state attorney uses language revealing the intent of the office, which is to minimize the violent nature of the attack," said Jeffrey Butts, who is director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

NY Daily News—Senselessly Slain Teens Leave Behind Reminders of Cruel Fate Faced Daily in New York City Streets

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay, said access to weapons among young men inured to violence and living in poverty can lead to deadly results. “Think about yourself and some dumb things you did when you were a teenager,” said Butts. “And then imagine living in Brownsville and walking around with a pistol in your pocket all the time. You’re 17 years old, you think you’re invulnerable, and you pull that weapon out.”

Miami Herald—Florida Juvenile Justice said it Would Weed out Bad Hires. How Did This Guy Slip Through?

“It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ culture with some of the people they have managing these facilities,” added Butts, who has worked with policymakers in 28 states, largely on youth justice. “With strong kids controlling the weak kids — and the staff controlling the strong kids. “You are using violence to try to teach kids not to use violence.”

Columbus Dispatch—Why Don’t Local, State and Federal Crime Numbers Add Up?

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said that in some ways, law enforcement never has been best equipped for crunching the numbers. Go to a police department and ask to be taken to the unit that does the crime reporting. Sometimes, it’s civilians with advanced degrees and computers, he said. “Other places, you walk in and it’s full of uniforms,” he said, pointing out that some departments view crime reporting as a desk job for officers who no longer want to work patrol. At a department such as the New York City Police Department, there are civilian research analysts with doctorates.

Miami Herald — Lightning Blasted his Shoes off-and Illuminated a Pattern of Abuse by Staff

Jeffrey Butts is director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and he’s worked with policymakers in 28 states, largely on youth justice. “It takes a high level of neglect for a long time for this stuff to emerge,” he said “It’s like black mold: It will grow if nobody is cleaning it up.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel—Crisis at Lincoln Hills Juvenile Prison Years in Making

As juvenile justice experts around the nation were recommending smaller, more localized facilities, Wisconsin went in the opposite direction, consolidating operations in a remote setting. ... "This is a 19th century or early 20th century model, where you have a large state-operated facility hours away from the urban centers," said Jeffrey Butts, director of a research center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "It is profoundly ineffective and wasteful."

Gothamist—Why Is New York Still Prosecuting 16-Year-Olds As Adults?

Other sources of potential support faded away, explains Jeffrey Butts of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, due to fundamental misgivings with the quality of even the juvenile justice system and with the arbitrary choice of 18 as a magical birthday. Butts and others have advocated for a total overhaul of the system, so that it gradually escalates responsibility and adjusts services up to age 25. He said he told individuals within the Cuomo Administration of his concerns in 2014. "My advice was don't do this," he says. "Don't waste the political capital on the Raise the Age debate because it's a partial victory at the very best." "Why would he want to be the 49th governor to raise the age to 18," he continues, "when he could be the first governor to revolutionize the whole conversation?"

Washington Times—FBI Reports Increase in Homicides, Violent Crimes

Crime upticks from 2004 to 2006 generated similar concern after a decade of declines, said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College. “Everyone started to panic, there was all sorts of speculation, and then it started back down again in 2007 and 2008, and it just plummeted from there,” Mr. Butts said of the overall decline in crime rates. “On a year-by-year basis, you can’t overreact or over-infer.”

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

“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

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.”

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 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

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.

DNAinfo — 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."