The crime and justice field recently started to label a wide array of violence prevention strategies as Community Violence Interventions (or CVI). Many of these strategies depend on law enforcement and social services, but the most innovative approaches are community-centered and community-sourced. They are grassroots efforts that rely on the resources of neighborhoods and residents themselves, operating separately from law enforcement and traditional human services. These strategies could be called Community Violence Interventions at the Roots (or CVI-R).
Prevention is different than deterrence, and it uses other tools and resources. It lowers risks and builds assets. Risks are obstacles to safety that often metastasize across individuals and increase harm to entire communities, including substance abuse, antisocial peers, unemployment, and family violence.
New York City's MAP strategy marshaled the talents and energies of residents to improve public safety and build healthy communities working in collaboration with local government and nonprofit partners. The initiative implemented MAP in more than a dozen public housing developments spread across New York City. John Jay College's Research and Evaluation Center worked with NORC at the University of Chicago to assess the design and implementation of MAP by observing operations, interviewing local officials and staff, and surveying residents.
The Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (JohnJayREC) partnered with Osborne Association to evaluate the first five years of a program designed to improve relationships between formerly incarcerated fathers and their children.
Arnold Ventures asked the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to review and summarize the research evidence for policies and programs that reduce community violence without relying on police.
Surveys of New York City public housing residents suggest that changes in some public safety outcomes might be mediated by gains in community well-being, social cohesion, engagement with government, and citizen trust in the competence of government agencies and actors. As communities become more tightly connected and more supported, they may experience gains in public safety.
A rigorous test of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety indicates that New York City’s effort to improve the safety of public housing communities was beginning to show benefits by the end of 2019 and could be considered a promising intervention.
Gun violence affects far more people than those wounded directly. Victims’ families suffer mental, emotional, and financial costs as well. The cost of gun violence extends beyond the immediate medical consequences and the public pays.
Policymakers, advocates, and even some researchers claim that youth confinement rates across the United States dropped in recent years due to changes in policy and practice. Such claims remain unproven, but voters and elected officials are inclined to accept them as factual because they are offered by reputable agencies and repeated in news media sources. Without reliable evidence, however, the notion that state-level youth confinement rates fall primarily in response to progressive policy reforms is merely appealing rhetoric.
As part of an evaluation of the New York City Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), researchers from John Jay College of Criminal Justice collaborated with survey specialists from NORC at the University Chicago to collect data from two probability samples of residents in public housing developments in New York City. One sample of residents came from communities involved in the MAP initiative. A second sample was from statistically matched housing developments not involved in MAP.
Was the presence of the MAP initiative in some NYCHA developments associated with greater improvements in crime and victimization outcomes compared with the same outcomes in NYCHA developments not involved in MAP? The results presented here do not answer the question in full, but they offer an early look at efforts by the research team to generate more precise answers. Additional analyses are needed to rule out competing explanations and to examine the complex series of relationships among all the study’s variables. Based on the preliminary findings in this report, however, the results of MAP to date may be considered promising.
This second in a series of reports about the evaluation of the New York City Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP). This Evaluation Update: summarizes the goals and methods used to evaluate the Mayor’s Action Plan; describes the quasi-experimental design used to test the outcomes and impacts of MAP as well as the data sources assembled by the research team and how they are used; and portrays a logical framework the research team used initially to identify causal pathways through which various elements of MAP were intended to achieve their desired effect.
To evaluate the New York City Mayor's Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), an initiative to improve the safety of public housing developments, researchers estimated the counterfactual (no intervention) by selecting a set of comparison housing developments not involved in the initiative. The study relied on the statistical method known as propensity score analysis (PSA) to select the comparison group.
Seventeen prosecutors participated in a Practitioner Learning conference at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in November 2017. Of these, 16 participated in a follow-up interview. The 16 responding prosecutors came from 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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 [...]
Relationships between incarcerated parents and their children are difficult to maintain, but they are important to the relief of incarceration-induced trauma.
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 [...]
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.
Reclaiming Futures assumes that positive youth outcomes are achieved when service delivery systems are closely coordinated and provide just the right amount of individualized help with the least possible amount of coercion.