In 2012, 2013, and 2014, the Research & Evaluation Center received funding from the New York City Council to assess the implementation of gun violence reduction initiatives in New York City neighborhoods. The project is tracking the formation and deployment of gun violence reduction strategies in five areas: South Bronx, Harlem, Jamaica (Queens), North Shore of Staten Island, and East New York.
Each pilot program incorporates the shooting incident crisis management system recommended by the 2012 report from the Council-sponsored Task Force to Combat Gun Violence. Each project is also expected to implement the public health oriented violence-reduction strategy known as Cure Violence, which was developed at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Other support services are to be connected with each Cure Violence program to provide needed supports for at-risk youth, their families, and communities, including mental health services, school based conflict mediation services, job training and placement services, and legal services.
The Survey Method
The City Council funded the research team from John Jay College to follow the implementation of the strategy in each neighborhood and to assess its effectiveness. Researchers from the Research & Evaluation Center visited the boroughs to investigate their progress. In each community, researchers interviewed program leaders, agency officials, and community partners. The team also reviewed available documents and websites about each pilot site, and the team spoke with several City officials involved in the design and launch of the crisis management system.
In 2014, the research team began to collect survey data as well. John Jay researchers (operating under the street brand “NYC Cure”) are conducting surveys of young men (ages 18-30) in the communities operating Cure Violence program funded by the City Council as well as several New York City neighborhoods involved in a demonstration of Cure Violence supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The R&E Center’s surveys are designed to measure respondents’ experience of violence as well as their attitudes toward the appropriateness of violent behavior in varying situational contexts. The project is using an innovative sampling method (“respondent-driven sampling”) that is used to gather data quickly and efficiently from traditionally hard-to-reach populations.
Surveys are being completed in neighborhoods with Cure Violence programs and four comparison neighborhoods without Cure Violence. The study will conduct additional rounds of interviews in all of the communities in 2015 and 2016.
Some Preliminary Findings
|Survey Responses||Harlem||East N.Y. (Brooklyn)||South Jamaica (Queens)||South Bronx|
|I’ve been “stopped & frisked” in the past year||81%||79%||72%||78%|
|I’ve been shot at before||29%||41%||30%||45%|
|I’ve been stabbed before||18%||17%||17%||19%|
|I’ve seen at least one gun on my block in the past year||43%||45%||32%||50%|
|I’ve heard gunshots in my neighborhood||83%||83%||77%||87%|
NYCCure is the Research & Evaluation Center’s program of studies on gun violence prevention in New York City.