#GunCrisis Solution of the Day: Focus on what works

Members of Philadelphia CeaseFire march through the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia last August. Photograph for GunCrisis.org by Jim MacMillan

In advance of an upcoming conference in St. Louis, a new post at stlbeacon.org looks at a number of evidence-based programs and approaches to reducing gun violence in cites across the U.S., looking back to Operation Ceasefire, which began in Boston during the 1990s:

“The program caught the public’s eye at the time because it was credited with a 60 percent drop in homicides among victims age 24 and under.”

Ceasefire research helped police and the public better understand and address gang violence:

“The research showed that while gangs were thought to be responsible for more than 60 percent of homicides in Boston, those behind the killings turned out to make up a relatively small percentage of gang members. Many gang members had never fired a weapon, let alone killed someone. That finding helped researchers refine which members required extra attention from law enforcement.”

The program brought gang members to the table for “call-ins” with various community and law enforcement partners.

“The basic message was that violence was not acceptable and would not be tolerated. They were offered a carrot: Churches, youth workers, probation and parole officers and others would help them get services to turn their lives around. But at every step of the way was the underlying message that those refusing to change their violent behavior would face stiffer responses from the criminal justice system.”

Read the full post at stlbeacon.org: Crime programs reduce violence by focusing on what works


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