In the quest for alternatives to police, interrupters simply aren’t a proven idea.
As progressives search for alternatives to traditional policing in the wake of the protests over George Floyd’s murder, one solution has gained prominence: violence interrupters.
For this approach, Groups like Cure Violence and Advance Peace recruit members of local communities, particularly people who have a history with gangs or violence, to act as mediators who can deescalate interpersonal conflicts before they turn violent.
… While some studies have found positive effects, they are few and far between and suffer from methodological flaws. Taken together, the research is decidedly mixed — and offers little proof that the programs live up to their promise.
The research on interrupters “is mixed, incomplete, and very difficult to do,” Jeffrey Butts, a researcher at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who has studied violence interrupters, told me.
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