I often wonder, how did we get here — ending August with 357 homicides, on track to be our deadliest year recorded for shooting deaths?... Other cities, like New York and Oakland, Calif., have been where we are today but made improvements. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A report published last year by John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center, authored by a diverse group of academic consultants, lays out a framework for action I believe we can apply in Philadelphia.
Experts caution that while law enforcement is a vital part of public safety, police should be one part in a larger package of solutions. There are well-tested methods that decrease violence, but implementing them at scale will require patience, nuance, and a willingness to think past political narratives.
Some experts have detected some promising signs in recent crime data. In New York City, more than 500 people have been shot this year — the highest number in a decade and up more than 50 percent over the same period in 2020. But Jeffrey Butts, director of the research and evaluation center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that percentage was better than the 158 percent increase in shootings reported last fall in the city, suggesting that the surge in violence, while still up, may be declining.
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.
In the United States, the increase in consumption of crack after 1984 occurred along with a noticeable increase in violent crime in urban centers as New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle. This experience generates a certain concern in the American media: will the exportation of the phenomenon to the biggest Latin American economy, three decades later, increase the risks of security for tourists attending the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics?
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice collaborated with Temple University to assess the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Initiated by the White House and announced on October 5, 2010, the National Forum brings together the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Education, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.