CUNY TV’s Diverse City program, hosted by Zyphus Lebrun, visits Port Richmond and neighboring West New Brighton on Staten Island to hear about a program in which former felons work with law enforcement to address the growing levels of gun violence.
Jeffrey Butts interviewed for this story on Fox News, July 30, 2020.
[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.
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.
On June 10, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the $10M expansion of Cure Violence programs in police precincts in New York City with the highest amounts of gun violence.
In a podcast interview with the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, I discussed gun violence prevention and the need to maintain a balanced evidence base.
“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.”
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center found that between 2014 and 2016, there was a 50 percent decrease in gun injuries in East New York, Brooklyn and a 37 percent reduction in the South Bronx, two communities where Cure Violence has been implemented.
Grassroots organizations have often argued they can stop violence in a way the police department cannot. NY1 News reports on a new study by John Jay College’s Research and Evaluation Center that shows some of those community programs are making a difference.