John Jay College’s National Network For Safe Communities Awarded $750,000 Federal Grant to Enhance and Sustain Proven Crime Prevention Strategies

June 7, 2012 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Funding Will Support Launch of “Ceasefire University”

The National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC), a project of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to enhance and sustain two highly successful crime-reduction strategies.

For more than 15 years, scores of diverse jurisdictions throughout the United States have been implementing two effective strategies — the group violence reduction strategy (GVRS), first implemented in Boston in the mid-1990s as “Operation Ceasefire,” and the drug-market intervention (DMI) strategy, pioneered in High Point, North Carolina in 2004. The National Network was created to connect and support the jurisdictions that are currently implementing one or both of these strategies, help them learn from one another and address common issues, and provide a supportive community of practice for new jurisdictions.

John Jay College President Jeremy Travis, who serves as the NNSC’s co-chair, noted that the National Network was formed in 2009 on the basis of the then very strong evaluation record and field experience with the core anti-crime strategies. “It’s wonderful to see the ringing endorsement, as supported by the BJA grant award, of this crucial evidentiary basis,” Travis said. “This is another important milestone in the development over almost 20 years of one of the most promising directions in our national struggle to reduce crime in a way that also strengthens communities.”

“There is a substantial body of research and field experience documenting that these strategies are associated with large reductions in violent and drug crime when implemented with fidelity,” said Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control and co-chair of the National Network. “Based on this evidence, the National Network has been rolling out these strategies nationwide so that America can address its crime problems in a fundamentally different and more effective way.”

The two-year BJA grant will help the National Network to enhance implementation of its strategies, better assist its current member sites in producing sustained results, and meet a sharp increase in demand for the strategies from new jurisdictions.

Specifically, the National Network plans to:

  • Develop an in-depth curriculum for a “Ceasefire University,” an annual multi-day program to be offered at John Jay College to a range of strategy stakeholders.
  • Invest in conferencing technology for distance support to sites and convening regular meetings with site project managers, police chiefs, community leaders and others to track progress, discuss problems and provide a platform for peer-to-peer support.
  • Invest in project management software system that will be standard across all sites, and determine a set of standardized base data to be collected by all sites to enhance implementation fidelity and facilitate more scholarly research.
  • Seek the advice of professionals on curriculum development, distance learning and data collection regarding the two anti-crime strategies.
  • Compile a “cookbook” on key strategy elements, consisting of case studies, how-to guides and other material providing a description of the most common problems and a discussion of the solutions applied in National Network cities.
  • Develop a software package for police departments to conduct Social Network Analysis in the context of GVRS implementation.
  • Conduct multiple peer-to-peer training visits for National Network cities.
  • Develop and implement the metrics needed to embed its strategies into CompStat, the main data-driven management and accountability system used by state-of-the-art police departments.

For further information on the National Network for Safe Communities, please visit www.nnscommunities.org.

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.

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For more information, call:

Doreen Viñas-Pineda 212-237-8645