CSM — Curbing Chicago Crime, One Jigsaw Cut at a Time

Richard Mertens
Christian Science Monitor
March 29, 2022

… There’s also a growing movement to fight gun violence through community efforts that strengthen neighborhoods, families, and individuals most caught up in it. Led by nonprofit groups, increasingly in cooperation with local governments, these efforts include reaching out to young people most at risk of shooting or getting shot, organizing activities to build trust within afflicted neighborhoods, and promoting norms of nonviolence. They even include mowing vacant lots to make streets feel safer.

“There’s a whole garden of approaches, with different styles and modalities and theories of change,” says Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. “What’s new, or seems new, is that we’ve reached the point that relying on law enforcement for all of our public safety problems became too obviously problematic.”

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John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/AP/File. Police investigate a double shooting in which a toddler was hit when a man fired at her father as they walked in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood in 2018.