Gun violence is a massive problem in American communities. And after decades of failed policies, some community members are taking matters in their own hands and working as violence interrupters. In this episode of Beyond Black History Month, we meet members of Save Our Streets, or SOS. We find out how some of the same people who once caused neighborhood violence are dedicating their lives to stopping it.
Many criminologists blame the pandemic and its societal and economic disruptions for the spike in homicides over the past couple of years. “It’s not that the whole society fell apart,” says Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “It’s just that there are enough people who were already living on the edge, and this pushed them off of it.”
New York City’s Cure Violence programs found shootings and gun injuries dropped in two neighborhoods where such programs were in place between 2013 and 2017, according to an evaluation led by Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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, 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.