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.
“Sadly, I’ve dedicated my life to using facts and data to influence crime policy. I don’t think we’re any better at it than we were 30 years ago,” Butts said. He has seen both Democrats and Republicans try to use crime stats to scare voters. It’s hard to stop them because “politics was way out ahead of information and the facts.”
Progressive-minded criminologists like Roman or Butts are boosters of community antiviolence intervention programs such as the Cure Violence model, in which more mature people from the neighborhood work as “violence interrupters” and seek to mediate disputes or defuse tensions before they get out of hand.
"We were already in a weakened condition when the pandemic hit -- class divisions, overt racism, partisanship, a really poor social support infrastructure -- so if you think about the effect of the pandemic on an 'epidemic' of shootings -- it's like the immune system of the United States was already suppressed," Jeffrey Butts, director of the research and evaluation center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told ABC News.
Investing in policing may reduce rates of victimization. But it does so at a price not captured in any fiscal budget: the needless deaths caused by trigger-happy officers; young Black men’s routine experience of harassment, discrimination, and/or nonlethal forms of police violence, and the physical and emotional toll of those experiences.