Philadelphia is “behind the curve” on implementing innovative gun violence solutions

Police investigate after a woman was found shot to death early Saturday morning in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Photo by Joe Kaczmarek.

Philadelphia social worker and writer Jeff Deeney takes a look at the Chicago CeaseFire approach to violence prevention, “using trained mediators who are former gang members with clout in violent neighborhoods to break cycles of retaliatory shootings and murders.” According to Deeney:

Philly remains behind the curve as more and more US cities experiment with combining innovative violence prevention with more traditional law enforcement. GunStat (targeting hotspots with crime data) reduces gun crimes through mass arrest and incarceration. It avoids prosecuting addicts, but it remains a Drug War tactic, as most gun users targeted are caught up in hustling. Wouldn’t an alternative to incarceration that empowers communities to control their own violence through evidence-based training in street outreach and conflict mediation be a worthy piece of city social programming to complement law enforcement efforts? It’s worth serious consideration, as the gun issue remains impossible to solve through incarceration and impossible to address through the legislative process.

Read the full post: A New Way to End Gun Violence

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