Under the MAP program, community members meet with agency officials to identify indicators that affect public safety, and work with these officials to address those issues. Research by John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that this program reduced felonies and misdemeanors in participating housing developments.
Jeffrey Butts, who runs the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College, says setting up cure violence programs in a way that generates evidence of what methods work to reduce shootings will be essential going forward...
Jeffrey Butts interviewed on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program by host Bill Scanlan.
Jeffrey Butts said the fact that America is awash with guns -- there are an estimated 400 million of them in the country, more than the population -- makes it prone to deadly violence.
“They should not operate in hostility to law enforcement…but they need to operate almost autonomously,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. “If the neighborhood starts to think that these programs are in cahoots with law enforcement, the young people in the neighborhood will stop talking to the workers.”
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.
Jeffrey Butts at John Jay College of Criminal Justice says whether or not to charge a juvenile as an adult depends on what society is trying to accomplish.
"The movement needs support with evidence and research, not just clever arguments,” Butts said.
Officials in Kansas City ask for evidence of effectiveness for the Cure Violence approach. A 2017 review of two sites in New York City by John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York found that gun violence rates decreased in the two catchment areas reviewed — gun injuries dropping about 50% in one neighborhood after the Cure Violence program was implemented.
"[Violence interrupters] are from the same streets, grew up in the same areas and had the same experiences as young people and so they just have more access and access means influence," said Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "The possibility of influencing someone's behavior and attitude is stronger if you come at them as an equal."
Studies conducted of two CMS sites by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center found that, in addition to a decline in shootings over two years, trust in law enforcement increased, and fewer people turned to violence. "Over time, attitudes did change, especially in the Cure Violence neighborhoods,” said Sheyla Delgado, a researcher at John Jay who has coauthored several CMS studies.
Shootings in New York City remain a serious concern, and the most recent from NYPD data show different areas of the city are experiencing different trends.
Proponents say that the number of shootings they prevented is difficult to track, and benefits like better community-police relations are hard to quantify. Despite that, a review by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that average monthly shootings decreased 28 percent across CMS sites in the first two years of the effort.
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.
Jeffrey Butts joined Yuripzy Morgan on WBAL News Radio in Baltimore, where City officials are launching new efforts to reduce community violence.
Jeffrey Butts joins a discussion about the effectiveness of violence interruption programs in Baltimore and elsewhere.
On the September 19, 2021 episode of City Watch on WBAI 99.5 FM, Host Jeff Simmons focused on gun violence prevention with guests: Erica Ford, Founder and CEO of Life Camp Inc., New York City Councilmember Adrienne Adams, and Dr. Jeffrey Butts, Research Professor and Director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
I often wonder, how did we get here — ending August with 357 homicides, on track to be our deadliest year recorded for shooting deaths?... Other cities, like New York and Oakland, Calif., have been where we are today but made improvements. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A report published last year by John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center, authored by a diverse group of academic consultants, lays out a framework for action I believe we can apply in Philadelphia.
“The evidence is mixed,” Butts, who led the 2015 review and subsequent research on interrupters, said. “We need to do more studies.”
Jeffrey Butts said that while he is encouraged by1 the Biden administration's public commitment to gun violence research, long hobbled by years of underfunding at the federal level, more attention needs to be paid to community-based programs that don't rely on police intervention.
“The Brooklyn recovery seems more striking than other boroughs,” Dr. Butts said. “The Brooklyn spike is horrendous when you look at it over time. But the most recent quarter, the data point is back to where it’s been bouncing around for the past 15 years.”
New York City’s Cure Violence programs found shootings and gun injuries dropped in two neighborhoods where such programs were in place between 2013 and 2017, according to an evaluation led by Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“Shooting trends in New York City remain a serious concern, but these quarter-specific, one-year differences declined for three straight quarters,” researchers Jeffrey Butts and Richard Espinobarros write.
Shooting trends in New York City remain a serious concern, but recent quarter-specific, one-year differences declined for three straight quarters from October 2020 through June 2021.
Sheyla Delgado, deputy director of analytics for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center, has studied Cure Violence programs in New York City for the past decade and says they do improve public safety.