#GunCrisis Solution of the Day: A comprehensive anti-gang strategy

At a symposium in Ottawa last week, officials seeking solutions to increasing gun violence in Canada’s capital city have been reflecting on the “Boston Miracle” of the 1990s.

According to a report at ottawacitizen.com: Boston’s “Operation Ceasefire,” also known as the Boston Gun Project, led to a 50 percent drop in homicides over a four-year period.

“The monthly homicide rate among youth in the 18-24 age group had fallen 63 per cent, and monthly gun assault numbers had decreased 25 per cent. Monthly calls to police for shots fired went down 32 per cent.”

The Boston plan, spearheaded by criminologist David Kennedy of John Jay College in New York, involved strong partnerships between law enforcement and communities, and job training for gang members, but also focused on directly warning gang members of the consequences of violent actions, and locking up hardened serial criminals.

“Police were relentless in pursuing those who would not listen. No crime was too small to ignore, and backed by tough prosecutors, many criminals were jailed and some notorious gangs were dismantled.”

Local officials say that the Boston strategy would be less likely to succeed in Ottawa due to legal and cultural differences, but Carleton University criminologist Darryl Davies offers an alternative:

“My solution is we take the Boston Gun Project, we tailor it to our needs and make it the Ottawa Gun Project.”

Read the full report: Could “Boston Miracle” offer anti-gang solution for Ottawa?


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