National Catholic Register — How Restorative Justice Helped Make the Justice System Work Better in Seattle

If done properly, restorative justice can foster “the most natural human response to crime — to try to talk things through and resolve the conflict,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Continue reading National Catholic Register — How Restorative Justice Helped Make the Justice System Work Better in Seattle

The Intercept — Credible Messengers: Baltimore’s Violence Interrupters Confront Shootings, the Coronavirus, and Corrupt Cops

Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes there are productive ways for police and violence interrupters to work together. Continue reading The Intercept — Credible Messengers: Baltimore’s Violence Interrupters Confront Shootings, the Coronavirus, and Corrupt Cops

The Appeal — The Bumpy Road to Police Abolition

Those supportive of reform may be quick to reverse themselves out of fear of being cast as soft on crime, so new initiatives need to be protected with solid evidence. If a city wanted to radically reduce expenditures on policing, Butts said, “I would totally back it, but I would be terrified we would squander all the good energy by not being fully prepared.” Continue reading The Appeal — The Bumpy Road to Police Abolition

Injustice Watch— City Watchdog: Juvenile Diversion Program has Failed to Meet Goals

“It makes me sad to see that some of the issues we identified ten years ago are still hindering the effectiveness of the place,” said Jeffrey Butts, a criminologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, who conducted the earlier evaluation. Continue reading Injustice Watch— City Watchdog: Juvenile Diversion Program has Failed to Meet Goals

CityLab — What We Fight About When We Fight About Parking

Sociologists and criminologists theorize as to why violence can erupt from such seemingly inconsequential concerns. Jeffrey Butts, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, says that the dynamics of parking provocations are sometimes similar to those of gang violence: Individuals who think their territory is threatened feel that they have to respond with violence to protect it. Continue reading CityLab — What We Fight About When We Fight About Parking

JJIE — With Plunging Crime Rate, New York Experts Dreaming Big

But while the numbers show New York City is shifting gears on criminal justice reform, much harder is to establish, the experts said, is whether new policies are causing the drop in crime or whether they are a consequence of it…. Crime numbers have been decreasing for a long time nationwide, and even worldwide, said Jeffrey Butts, a professor who leads the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has researched the juvenile justice system since the late 1980s. Continue reading JJIE — With Plunging Crime Rate, New York Experts Dreaming Big

Nonprofit Quarterly—Community Nonprofits Reduce Gun Violence through Peer Networks

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center analyzed the New York City experience with the Cure Violence model in 2017, seven years after the strategy was adopted. It found reductions in gun injuries of 37–50 percent in the South Bronx and Brooklyn. The center also documented a 14 percent reduction in attitudes supporting violence, with no change in control populations. However, more research is needed. Continue reading Nonprofit Quarterly—Community Nonprofits Reduce Gun Violence through Peer Networks

The Recidivism Trap

Rather than asking “what’s the recidivism rate?” we should ask an entirely different set of questions about justice interventions. Are we really helping people convicted of crimes to form better relationships with their families and their law-abiding friends? Are we helping them to advance their educational goals? Are they more likely to develop the skills and abilities required for stable employment? Are we helping them to respect others and to participate positively in the civic and cultural life of their communities? Continue reading The Recidivism Trap

NationSwell—The Impressive Top-to-Bottom Makeover of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System

At the height of the War on Drugs, policymakers generally split along partisan lines about how to respond to criminal acts by youth. The right wing saw unchangeable “super-predators” who needed to be incarcerated to restore law and order, while leftists saw victims of poverty who needed counseling and therapy, says Dr. Jeffrey Butts, director of John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research & Evaluation Center. Continue reading NationSwell—The Impressive Top-to-Bottom Makeover of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System

Interview with the International Juvenile Justice Observatory

The main challenge is that juvenile justice policies are not based on a simple, rational assessment of costs and effectiveness, or even on the basic concept of justice. Policy choices are affected by fear and emotion, as well as political/electoral competition, economic self-interest of governments and service providers, and the enduring battle between social classes as to who defines the origins and solutions to social problems. Continue reading Interview with the International Juvenile Justice Observatory

Congressional Quarterly Researcher—Reforming Juvenile Justice

… Americans have “a deep cultural instinct to punish as a way of changing behavior,” says Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “And most people making decisions about policy are thinking about someone else’s kid,” not their own. Continue reading Congressional Quarterly Researcher—Reforming Juvenile Justice

New York Nonprofit Media—Close to Home: A Juvenile Justice Reform Tries to Rebound from Early Troubles

“There’s never a good reason to send kids away,” said Dr. Jeffrey A. Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “It could be about convenience, fear, politics or a way of adding jobs to outlying areas where there aren’t enough jobs. But it’s never about public safety.” Continue reading New York Nonprofit Media—Close to Home: A Juvenile Justice Reform Tries to Rebound from Early Troubles

The Marshall Project—Gangs of New York

Jeffrey Butts, a director of research at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, co-wrote an ongoing analysis of Cure Violence’s presence in high-crime New York City neighborhoods and found that homicide rates are on a downward trend in three areas that employed the interrupters in Brooklyn and in northern Manhattan. “They can form relationships in high-violence communities that police, social workers and ministers simply can’t,” Butts said. Continue reading The Marshall Project—Gangs of New York

Chronicle of Social Change—Positive Youth Justice: Curbing Crime, Building Assets

The model is most succinctly explained in a recent brief written by Dr. Jeffrey Butts, a noted juvenile justice researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a leading proponent of PYJ: “The PYJ Model suggests that youth justice systems should focus on youths’ acquisition of two core developmental assets: learning/doing and attaching/belonging. These two assets should be acquired and experienced by every youth within six distinct domains: work, education, relationships, community, health and creativity.” Continue reading Chronicle of Social Change—Positive Youth Justice: Curbing Crime, Building Assets