[Cure Violence workers] “try to stop the cycle of retaliation, and because they are not seen as an extension of law enforcement, the people most likely to be walking around with handguns in their pocket will talk to them and will allow them to settle a dispute before it turns violent,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
That longstanding approach was problematic at best, according to Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College. “We’re setting ourselves up for failure when we take a young person who is 14- or 15-years-old, send them hours away from their family, and break all their ties to their communities,” he says.
“The most powerful factor is peer support for pro-social behavior,” said Jeffrey Butts, one of the authors of the Urban Institute study, who is now the director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “When a judge controls the room — that’s what their whole life is like. That’s no different than high school.”