Professor David Kennedy’s Violence Reduction Strategy Will Be the Centerpiece of a New State Initiative

February 27, 2012 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice

A violence-reduction strategy developed by Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice will be the centerpiece of a comprehensive $2-million anti-violence initiative recently announced by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

A total of $1 million will be awarded to six communities — Newburgh, Albany, Schenectady, Brownsville (Brooklyn), the Bronx and Manhattan — to attack gun violence and crime using the strategies that Kennedy and the National Network for Safe Communities have employed successfully in localities nationwide.

“By focusing community outreach, help and, where necessary, enforcement on the small number of core offenders who drive the crime numbers, we can reduce violence and at the same time limit the number of people we lock away in prisons,” Kennedy said. “National experience has shown that this approach makes neighborhoods dramatically safer and creates stronger communities.”

The Governor’s anticrime initiative also includes the creation of a toll-free gun tip line (1-855-GUNS-NYS), a statewide advertising campaign focused on reducing gun crime, and funding support for community-based violence-intervention programs.

Kennedy noted that he and his frequent collaborator, Professor Tracey Meares of Yale University, were approached by the Cuomo administration to participate in the new initiative. The six sites were chosen by state officials, and while Kennedy said all interventions follow the same basic template, adaptations are made in each case to reflect local needs. “These are interventions designed to work primarily with existing community resources,” he said.

The initiative is a part of the Governor’s larger urban agenda to aggressively support the implementation of community-based violence reduction strategies involving both the police and the community. “For too long, urban communities across New York have been devastated by gun violence, destroying families and neighborhoods,” Cuomo said. “These initiatives will give communities the tools they need to effectively fight gun violence and reduce crime, making the state a safer and better place for all.”

For more information, visit http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/02182012reducinggunviolenceinitiative.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit  www.jjay.cuny.edu.

The Center for Crime Prevention and Control fosters innovative crime reduction strategies through hands-on fieldwork, research, and unique partnerships with communities, police, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals. Its staff is actively engaged in crime prevention initiatives in jurisdictions around the country and the world fostering close working relations with practitioners within key criminal justice and community institutions. For more information about the Center, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu/ccpc.

National Network for Safe Communities (NSSC is a coalition of police chiefs, prosecutors, community leaders, service providers, mayors, street workers, scholars, and others concerned about the impact of crime and current crime policies on communities. The NNSC is to reducing crime, reducing incarceration and addressing the racial conflict associated with traditional crime policy. Since its creation in 2009, the NSSC has expanded to more than 50 jurisdictions – including Los Angeles, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Providence, Boston, High Point, and the states of California and North Carolina.  For more information about the NNSC, visit www.nnscommunities.org.

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For more information, call:

Doreen Viñas-Pineda 212-237-8645