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

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?

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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.