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).
Shooting incidents reported in each New York City census block group were divided over the population to create yearly rates of shooting incidents. Researchers then ranked all CBGs based on their rates of shooting incidents and identified the 50 CBGs with the highest rates in each year from 2015 to 2021.
Jeffrey Butts interviewed on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program by host Bill Scanlan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2021, JohnJayREC was asked to test whether the strategies of Fast Track improved crime and violence in the affected areas.
Shootings in New York City grew sharply in 2020 and remained elevated in 2021, but the degree of increase may be in decline.
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.
Center director, Jeffrey Butts, was interviewed for this story on Fox News, July 30, 2020.
Causal relationships are difficult to identify in complex and multi-part initiatives, but New York City’s falling rate of gun violence suggests that recent community initiatives may have helped to sustain previous gains.
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.
In a podcast interview with the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, JohnJayREC director, Jeffrey Butts, discussed gun violence prevention and the need to maintain a balanced evidence base.
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.
The entire increase in drug crime arrests during the past decade was due to growing numbers of arrests involving adults ages 25 and older. Youth under age 18 and even young adults under age 25 were far less likely to be arrested for drug crimes in 2018 than any time in the past two decades.
Based on the latest statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the national violent crime arrest rate declined 38 percent overall between 1988 and 2018, but the steepest declines were observed among youth ages 10 to 14 (–53%) and 15 to 17 (–54%). The arrest rate for 18-20 year-olds dropped 47 percent while the arrest rates for adults ages 21-24 and 25-49 declined 42 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
This study focuses on crimes involving firearms in Baltimore, Maryland to answer three research questions concerning the effect of seasonality: (1) Do changes in the seasons affect which spatial factors are significantly related to crime?; (2) Does risk terrain modeling have predictive validity on a short-term basis?; and (3) Are the same areas high-risk throughout the year? To accomplish this, the authors ran twelve monthly risk terrain models and one yearly risk terrain model. The study found that risk factors vary by month and that monthly and yearly spatial risk factors do not necessarily overlap. The study also found that risk terrain models retain their predictive validity on a short-term basis. The results are further discussed in relation to whether the same areas are high-risk throughout the course of the year.
Quality youth justice systems (a) limit the use of confinement to cases where it is objectively necessary, (b) ensure the health and safety of all confined youth, (c) provide effective treatments and developmentally appropriate programming, and (d) continually monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. These goals apply to all forms of secure confinement regardless of financing or organizational configuration.
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.
Access to education is a constant theme in discussions germane to correctional reform, particularly to reduce rule breaking while incarcerated and re-offending after release from prison. Focusing on the latter, we examine the extent to which education is accessible for individuals who have felonious non-violent records in the United States (US). We generated a stratified random sample of 85 institutions of higher education (IHE) in the northeastern US and analyzed emails from admission departments in response to inquiries about how a felony record would affect admissions decisions. Results from multivariate models indicate that the institution type (public vs. private) significantly predicts how an IHE would use an individual’s criminal history in admissions decisions. Public IHEs are less likely to consider criminal history when reviewing an individual’s application and IHEs with higher proportions of minority students are associated with reduced consideration of an applicant’s criminal history in admissions decisions.