Douglas Evans and Anthony Vega In Denormalizing Violence: A Series of Reports From the John Jay College Evaluation of Cure Violence Programs in New York City Introduction Crime has been decreasing since the mid-1990s, but violence is still a serious concern in many neighborhoods throughout the United States. Victims of violence often suffer psychological trauma as well as physical injuries, and research suggests the effects do not end there. Nearly half of all victims experience subsequent violent victimization. The criminal justice system may respond effectively to incidents of violence, but preventing violence and addressing the needs and ongoing risks of…
Preserving the Community Justice Mission of Community Corrections Jeffrey A. Butts and Vincent Schiraldi Recidivism is not a robust measure of effectiveness for community corrections agencies. When used as the sole measure of effectiveness, recidivism misleads policymakers and the public, encourages inappropriate comparisons of dissimilar populations, and focuses policy on negative rather than positive outcomes. Policymakers who focus on recidivism as evidence of justice effectiveness are confusing a complex, bureaucratic indicator of system decision-making with a simple measure of individual behavior and rehabilitation. Recidivism is at least in part a gauge of police activity and enforcement emphasis and, because…
This report reviews a number of prominent frameworks that are available to help youth justice systems rely on positive outcomes rather than recidivism to measure their effectiveness. These include the Developmental Assets model, the 5Cs model, the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, the Positive Youth Justice model, and the Youth Thrive framework. Each model or framework aligns with the key principles of positive youth development as well as the large body of research on desistance from crime, which is also presented in this report.
Young men who express more confidence in law enforcement are less likely to support the use of personal violence to settle disputes and resolve personal conflicts.
Promising evidence that the public health approach to violence reduction championed by Cure Violence may be capable of creating safe and healthy communities.
Community-based services provided by Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. may generate considerable savings by reducing the need for commitment and out-of-home placement among court-involved youth.
Data infrastructures for tracking youth violence in the United States do not provide a clear view of neighborhood-level change, but the most effective strategies for dealing with youth violence inevitably focus on small areas like neighborhoods. This makes it essential to measure the effects of violence prevention efforts at the neighborhood level as well.
While one of the strengths of OJJDP’s CBVP model was its emphasis on adaptation to local context and needs, the variation across program sites posed serious challenges for the evaluation and made it impossible to assess and compare outcomes in each city.
This study suggests that the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention provides meaningful assistance to cities. The organizational networks involved in the National Forum appear to be moving in positive directions and the individuals involved in those networks report high levels of confidence that they are making a difference.