Crime Prevention and Control

 

Crime Reduction Strategies

The Framework
Many of the Center’s projects operate in a crime prevention framework known as “focused deterrence.”  This framework identifies the core offenders involved in a particular crime problem; creates a law enforcement, community, and social service partnership; opens direct communication with the offenders; and makes clear to them the affected community wants them to stop what they are doing, there is help available to them, and there will be consequences for continued misbehavior.  For an introduction to the focused deterrence framework, see: 
Pulling Levers: Getting Deterrence Right and Pulling Levers: Chronic Offenders, High-Crime Settings, and a Theory of Prevention.

The Center focuses its work on advancing two well-developed and distinct strategies: the group violence reduction strategy (GVRS) addresses serious violence associated with gangs, drug crews, and similar groups of offenders; the drug market intervention (DMI) addresses “overt” drug markets of the kind that involve street dealers, drug houses, drive-through buyers, prostitution and the like. 



The Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS)

The group violence reduction strategy, first demonstrated as “Operation Ceasefire” in Boston in 1996  and subsequently in many other jurisdictions, relies on direct communication to violent groups by a partnership of law-enforcement, service providers, and community figures. Together the partnership delivers a unified “no violence” message, explains that violence will bring law enforcement attention to entire groups, offers services and alternatives to group members, and articulates community norms against violence. The strategy is flexible and adapted to any given jurisdiction, but is also quite well understood; for an implementation outline, click here. For more materials on the approach, see Publications.

Where properly implemented, rapid reductions in serious violence are routine, with low levels of actual enforcement and the enthusiastic support of affected communities. One dramatic example of this is Chicago, which has used a variation on the strategy to reduce the homicide rate in several exceptionally violent neighborhoods by 37% (see “Attention Felons: Evaluating Project Safe Neighborhoods in Chicago”). 
 


Watch Center Director David Kennedy provide an overview of GVRS.

 


The Drug Market Intervention (DMI)
First demonstrated in High Point, North Carolina, in 2004, and often referred to as the “High Point model,” the drug market intervention (DMI) is designed to close neighborhood drug markets permanently.  Moving drug market by drug market in any particular jurisdiction, it identifies street-level dealers; arrests violent offenders; suspends cases for non-violent dealers, and brings together drug dealers, their families, law enforcement and criminal justice officials, service providers, and community leaders for a meeting that makes clear the dealing has to stop, the community cares for the offenders but reject their conduct, help is available, and renewed dealing will result in the activation of the existing case. 

First demonstrated in High Point, North Carolina, in 2004, and often referred to as the “High Point model,” the drug market intervention (DMI) is designed to close neighborhood drug markets permanently.  Moving drug market by drug market in any particular jurisdiction, it identifies street-level dealers; arrests violent offenders; suspends cases for non-violent dealers, and brings together drug dealers, their families, law enforcement and criminal justice officials, service providers, and community leaders for a meeting that makes clear the dealing has to stop, the community cares for the offenders but reject their conduct, help is available, and renewed dealing will result in the activation of the existing case. 

This strategy has been shown to almost completely eliminate these markets, with low levels of arrest and prosecution; rebuild relationships between minority communities and law enforcement; and redirect the lives of drug dealers. 

For details on how the strategy was first applied in High Point, NC, see Chapter 9 of David Kennedy’s book, Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction. For an implementation outline, see BJA: Drug Market Intervention Program. For media coverage see: New Program Reforms Drug-Torn Neighborhood;Closing Crack Highway; and Street Known for Drug Crime is Getting Clean

 


Watch this video for an overview of High Point's experience with implementing the Drug Market Intervention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CENTER SPOTLIGHTS

Campbell Review Attests to Efficacy of Center's Strategies
A Campbell Collaboration Systematic Review, the gold standard in evaluating social science interventions, found "strong empirical evidence” for the effectiveness of the Center's crime prevention strategies. The Effects of “Pulling Levers” Focused Deterrence Strategies on Crime  (Braga & Weisburd, 2011) confirms what research and field experience have long suggested:  a strategy that combines deterrence with elements that encourage offenders away from crime, strengthens a community’s collective efficacy, and enhances police legitimacy is the most effective approach to addressing serious violent crime and overt drug markets.



Don't Shoot
Read an excerpt from Center Director David Kennedy's new book or click on the cover image below for further information. Highlights from a reading during his national book tour, including a conversation with John Seabrook from The New Yorker, can be viewed here.     

David Kennedy, in this interview with Boston Public Radio, sets out what it takes to reduce the number of violent deaths and the high levels of incarceration rates that beset America's most troubled communities.


Fighting Back: Violence in Our Cities 
As one of the panelists of a multimedia event in New Haven, CT, Center Director David Kennedy discusses how to rebuild trust between the community and police and stem the tide of murders in the city.  


Photo: Thomas McMillan/New Haven Independent 
 



Thinking Outside the Cell
In this interview with CUNY TV's Criminal Justice Matters, Center Director David Kennedy explains why the strategies developed by the Center can reduce both serious violent crime and the problem of mass incarceration.

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Center for Crime Prevention and Control
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
555 West 57th Street, Room 601
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212 484 1323
John Jay is CUNY