Building the Evidence Base for Community-Based Violence Reduction

The appropriate role for policing in violence prevention is under increasing scrutiny, but is it possible to build community safety without relying on law enforcement? The obvious answer is “yes.” Rates of crime and violence are always lower in wealthy neighborhoods without continual surveillance and the intense policing imposed on poor and working-class areas. Assuming not all neighborhoods can be made wealthy, however, what lessons can be learned from attempts to reduce violence without primary dependence on police? Are there effective strategies that rely on community resources to maintain safety and prevent violence? Have those strategies been evaluated? What operating principles are backed by research evidence? Where should one look for guidance to build a strong, community-based approach to reducing community violence?

The John Jay College Research and Evaluation Center conducted an expedited scan of evaluation evidence for community-based violence reduction strategies. The literature scan was supported by recorded interviews with expert practitioners and researchers working in the field of community-based violence reduction. The project team, eight senior researchers (faculty members or established scholars) as well as three advanced graduate students, collaborated to produce a written summary of research evidence and guide for action.

Final Product
Reducing Violence Without Police: A Review of Research Evidence

Core Staff
Jeffrey Butts (PI), Nicole Alexander, Edda Fransdottir, Yuchen Hou, Victoria Wang, and William Wical.


$98,788 Arnold Ventures