Across the country in efforts to diminish violent crime, police agencies like that in Rockland, IL, are revisiting a model law enforcement strategy of the 1970s, "community policing," as an alternative to the more recent "broken windows" style of the late nineties and early aughts. Research substantiates its effectiveness, too, in building citizens' trust of law enforcement, helping a community's ability to solve its own problems, and, in turn, decreasing crime rates; despite redefined priorities in the wake of 9/11 and post-recession budget cuts, community policing is again on the rise and bringing positive results, too.
As professor of medicine and gun-violence researcher Dr. Garen Wintemute notes, gun buyback programs have "struggled against the perception" of ineffectiveness: attracting only older and non-violent gun owners, for instance, and in some cases leading people to use the cash to buy superior firearms. But after a studying crowdfunding strategies and raising prodigious sums through a customized online funding campaign, a non-profit, Gun by Gun, aimed at reducing the number of guns in the U.S., has partnered with several California cities, using more than $100,000 of nationally-sourced individual donations to create demonstrably sustainable, more successful buyback programs across the state.
Kentucky is rethinking its penal system for dealing with drug offenders and has shown success in reducing recidivism and relapse rates. Instead of leaving addicts to languish in the typical jailhouse environment of "extortion, violence and tedium," more than two dozen of the state's county jails have created separate units devoted to full-time addiction treatment and support-services for prisoners that involve peer-policing.
Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood with the highest poverty levels, struggles to keep kids in school from engaging with gangs and crime to make money for themselves and their families. But College Bound Dorchester (CBD) is fast rewriting the solution to high drop out and recidivism rates, paying ex-offenders a weekly stipend to enroll in and complete a diploma program and proceed to (and through) college. With "core influencers" -- ex-gang members who have "left behind their troubled pasts" -- as role models in the community, CBD emulates similar programs in Chicago and Baltimore, and studies show the initiative is working.
Hopeworks 'N Camden prepares teens for jobs in Camden, NJ. through programs aimed to address any previous childhood trauma or socioeconomic stresses. It was characterized by set backs but the program is proving to set to provide the next generation with employable skills.
Most police departments train their officers how to shoot their guns rather than how to problem solve without the use of force. A Minneapolis police department has learned how to de-escalate conflict. By incorporating communication and listening skills for de-escalation, the police department has seen a decrease in the use of force.
The Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence in Quebec has expanded rapidly, becoming a model for programs around the world. What sets it apart from projects in Europe and the United States is that it confronts extremism of all stripes — not just Islamist — and focuses on behavior that signals the risk of violence, not just radical ideas, only involving law enforcement as a last resort.
Police agencies in thirty-four different states offer little or no training in diffusing conflicts, resulting in an overuse of force and a sense of mistrust from the communities they serve. Some cities in the United States have integrated training in de-escalation and have seen a decrease in the use of force as well as an increase in community trust. However not every police agency in the country is convinced this training is needed.
Many immigrants come into the United States with visual representation of former gang involvement, preventing them from shedding their past mistakes. A group in Northern Virginia is helping these immigrants make life changes and prevent gang violence in their area.
Gunshot victims have previously been treated at hospitals and then sent back out into the community where often they would be shot again or be violent to others, while suffering both physically and mentally. Ohio is now using an influx of federal crime victims assistance through a Trauma Recovery Network that helps with a wide range of issues as victims rejoin everyday life.
A study on 4 homeless individuals showed that they cost thousands of dollars, hours of city officials' time, resources etc. Outreach Fort Collins group aims to decrease these numbers by recognizing the importance of relationships and checking in on homeless individuals and being a neighbourhood resource for people to turn to to help if there is a concern, rather than calling the police.
Many young Latina women live their lives in fear of gang violence. The Montgomery County Street Outreach Network rescues girls in danger and offers services to them in order to help them change their chances of success.
California implemented a law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a drivers license, which has reduced the number of hit-and-runs. With a license, they are less likely to flee the scene due to fears around deportation or car impounding.
Violence in Chicago's South Side reached a peak in 2016, with rates at the highest since the 1990s. Community leaders are trying to de-escalate street violence through CHILL, a new program that provides scientific explanations as a means to inform and prevent conflict between teens in the area.
Richmond, California has one of the nation’s highest gun violence rate. To combat crime, Operation Peacemaker Fellowship tracks and identifies individuals at risk to commit violent acts or or become a victim of one. After identifying them, the Fellowship directs each at-risk person with employment training and social services and sends out teams to de-escalate conflicts within targeted communities.
To diversify the police force, UK and US research studies have focused on using behavioral economics. The UK's Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) has used behavioural economics and psychology to alter phrasing and messages, in order to attract more diverse applicants and its success has spurred more future projects.
Young black Jacksonians are afraid to call the police in self defence for fear they will be accused of gang violence and arrested instead of protected. Various programs are using research of violence and recidivism to create programs that address the people most likely to commit violent crimes instead of just putting them in jail.
In Texas, Mass-Incarceration is becoming a surprising hub of bi-partisan reform. By finding common ground, and brainstorming new solutions and alternatives to mass incarceration, the state has seen a drop in incarceration and crime rates.
Police actions at a crime scene often exacerbate the victim’s trauma and trigger a person with mental illness who is going through a crisis. The Trauma-Informed Response Team in Milwaukee, is part of a national trend to train police officers in crisis intervention so they can identify signs of mental illness, and efficiently and safely get someone in crisis into the care of a mental health professional.
The Queensbridge Houses, one of the nation's largest public housing projects, is celebrating more than one year without a shooting in what Mayor de Blasio called "a year of golden silence." Security measures such as the implementing of lights and cameras, combined with the creation of the 696 Queensbridge, a team of ex-convicts who patrol the area, has greatly reduced violence in the area.
In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut by the 'Youth in Iceland' program that institutted a curfew for children, promoted greater parental involvement, and involvement in extra curriculars. Now the questions is, why are other places not following suit?
Chicago plans to open a community court for young adult offenders that focuses on rehabilitative services and community support, giving them a chance to make reparations to victims and avoid a criminal record that can jeopardize opportunities for the rest of their lives. Part 3 of 3.
The police department and the Office of Neighbourhood Safety in Richmond, CA are lowering the number of homicides by identifying the youths most likely to commit crimes and giving them cash in return for compliance with their program.
A program in Richmond California identifies and enlists felons and youth at-risk for firearm violence in a fellowship, and is credited for a 76% decrease in homicides in the city. Participants receive relationship building, life maps, excursions, stipends, intergenerational mentoring, and internships, and are paid for good behaviour.
Safe Streets, a program run by the city’s Health Department, has lowered fatal shootings in Baltimore’s neighbourhood of Park Heights by hiring local ex-cons to defuse volatile situations before guns are drawn.