• Impact

    The National Network's strategies have been deployed in many jurisdictions for nearly two decades. Evaluations have concluded that there is strong empirical evidence for their effectiveness in reducing violence and community disorder.

The crime prevention strategies of the National Network for Safe Communities have attracted significant media attention over twenty years. This page features the most recent coverage of our work and a searchable archive of media about the National Network's projects around the nation and abroad.

The National Network convenes regular conferences, working sessions and webinars to discuss and promote developments in its core areas of operation, showcase innovations, and set research and development priorities.

Recent Press

Attorney General Holder announces the first six pilot sites for the National Initiative for Building

March 2015  |  U.S. Department of Justice   

As part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to strengthening the relationship between the criminal justice system and the communities it serves and protects, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Birmingham, AL; Fort Worth, TX; Gary, IN; Minneapolis, MN; Pittsburgh, PA; and Stockton, CA to be the first six cities to host pilot sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. As part of a larger effort, each pilot site will assess the police-community relationship and develop a detailed site-specific plan that will enhance procedural justice, reduce bias, and support reconciliation in communities where trust has been harmed. We're enormously excited to begin this work.


Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Suffolk County PD Works to Improve Community Relations

March 2015  |  News 12 Diverse Long Island  

National Network partner Risco Mention-Lewis, Deputy Police Commissioner of Suffolk County and founder of the Council of Thought and Action (COTA), talks to News 12 Long Island about a variety of innovative ‪police‬ outreach and training measures to strengthen relationships with minority communities in her jurisdiction.

Tags: Racial Reconciliation

St. Louis looks to Kansas City for help with homicide onslaught

February 2015  |  Kansas City Star  

St. Louis city leaders have been traveling around the country to find effective violence reduction strategies to help curb its’ increasing homicide rate. Today, St. Louis law enforcement and community members visited Kansas City to learn from the National Network's Group Violence Intervention strategy and other tools the city has employed to successfully reduce its' homicide rate. Kansas City No Violence Alliance held a call-in mid-February, where speakers included Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Kansas City Missouri Police Department Darryl Forte', U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Tags: Kansas City Group Violence Intervention Racial Reconciliation

Up to 35 targeted offenders receiving services from Don’t Shoot

February 2015  |  Central Illinois Proud  

In two years of partnership with the National Network, the Don’t Shoot Peoria initiative has brought an overall drop in violent crime. In February, Peoria held its’ sixth call-in meeting delivering a community anti-violence message. Since Peoria’s first call-in, over 200 offenders have reached out for services. Community services coordinator Krista Coleman says up to 35 of the offenders have stayed engaged and connected to the resources provided, helping to support and sustain life off the streets.

Tags: Peoria Drug Market InterventionGroup Violence Intervention

2015 H.F. Guggenheim Conference on Crime in America

February 2015  |  The Center on Media, Crime and Justice  

David Kennedy spoke on the opening panel at the 10th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation at John Jay College of Criminal Justice: “Race, Justice and Community: Can We All Get Along?” In front of an audience that included the recipients of the Guggenheim fellowships, Kennedy discussed his research surrounding these complex issues and ways to move forward, including the core ideas of the DOJ National Initiative: procedural justice, implicit bias, and racial reconciliation.

Tags: New York City National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Group Violence Intervention Racial Reconciliation

New study shows the likelihood of being shot in Chicago

February 2015  |  The Chicago Sun-Times  

This article discusses how Chicago Police Department is using Yale University Professor Andrew Papachristos' social network analysis to build a list of the people at highest risk of becoming a shooting victim or shooting somebody else. Using this list, beat officers pay special attention to those at risk, and commanders communicate with them directly using custom notifications.

Tags: Chicago Custom NotificationsSocial Network Analysis

New Orleans experiences historic lows in murder

January 2015  |  New Pittsburgh Courier  

Since the implementation of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA FOR LIFE initiative, New Orleans’ murder rate has dramatically declined for three years in a row, bringing the number of murders down to levels not seen since the 1970s. With National Network’s assistance, an effective partnership of law enforcement, community members, and social service providers engage with active group members at “call-in” meetings to communicate an anti-violence message and an offer of help.

Tags: New Orleans Group Violence Intervention Racial Reconciliation

What Makes a Good Cop? David Kennedy on Nuanced Policing

January 2015  |  WNYC   

National Network Director David M Kennedy sat down with Alec Baldwin on WNYC Radio's Here's The Thing to discuss how the Group Violence Intervention works, and how it was first developed in Boston as "Operation Ceasefire."

Tags: New York City Group Violence Intervention Racial Reconciliation

“A Moment of Decision” About Policing

September 2014  |  WNYC  

John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Jeremy Travis spoke with Brian Lehrer of WNYC Radio about the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice and the broader context of present police-community relations in America.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Justice Department Launches Effort To Establish Trust Between Police, Communities

September 2014  |  St. Louis Public Radio  

St. Louis Public Radio discusses this month's recent announcement of the National Initiative to Build Community Trust and Justice with John Jay president Jeremy Travis and the Office of Justice Programs' senior policy advisor Ed Chung.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

The next frontier in police reform: training cops in empathy

September 2014  |  Vox  

Vox discusses the Justice Department's new initiative to strengthen the relationships between communities and the criminal justice system, which National Network for Safe Communities will lead. This article does a great job of breaking down the main ideas behind the initiative: enhancing procedural justice, reducing implicit bias, and promoting racial reconciliation between police and the communities they serve.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Justice Department aims to rebuild trust in police with community engagement initiative

September 2014  |  PBS Newshour  

In the wake of the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, the Justice Department is launching a $5 million initiative to foster better relationships between communities and their police departments. Gwen Ifill talks to Tracie Keesee of the Center for Policing Equity and Ronald Hampton of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

A Different Response to Intimate Partner Violence

September 2014  |  COPS Office Dispatch  

High Point Chief of Police Marty Sumner recently spoke to the COPS Office Dispatch about the city's initiative that places accountability squarely on domestic violence offenders, which is having a striking impact. Using the National Network’s approach, the strategy emphasizes deterrence, early intervention, and offender accountability, and since its implementation in 2009, High Point has experienced significant reductions in DV-related homicides, recidivism, and arrests.

Tags: High Point Domestic Violence Intervention

We don’t need to keep criminals in prison to punish them

March 2015  |  Vox  

For the transition from prison to life outside to be successful, it needs to be gradual. If someone needed to be locked up yesterday, he shouldn't be completely at liberty today. And he shouldn't be asked to go from utter dependency to total self-sufficiency in one flying leap. He needs both more control and more support. Neither alone is likely to do the job.

Tags: Swift, Certain, & Fair

How “prisons without bars” could cut the cost of prison and keep people from coming back

March 2015  |  Washington Post  

"Prison is horrible for the prisoner and expensive for the state," write Mark A.R. Kleiman, Angela Hawken and Ross Halperin over at Vox. It doesn't have to be. Kleiman, Hawken and Halperin study criminal justice policy, and they've recently proposed an innovative solution to help cut America's incarcerated population, and ensure that those who are released don't come back. It's called "graduated re-entry." The idea is to let convicts out of prison early -- real early. Three-years-into-a-ten-year-sentence-early.

Tags: Swift, Certain, & Fair

What 21st Century Policing Means

March 2015  |  The White House  

Recently the 21st Century on Policing Task Force released its interim report, including recommendations for improving relationships between law enforcement and the communities it serves. The report highlights the important points that emerged from sessions held across the country over the past two months, including David Kennedy’s recommendation that communities support a positive culture and practice of policing that promotes the value and dignity of all, especially the most vulnerable citizens.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Group Violence Intervention Racial Reconciliation

Bryan Stevenson wants ‘equal justice’

February 2015  |  WNYC  

On WNYC Radio's Here's The Thing, Alec Baldwin speaks to Equal Justice Initiative's director and DOJ National Advisory Board member Bryan Stevenson about EJI’s recently released report on the history of lynchings in the U.S. and confronting the legacy of “racial terror.” Americans need to radically acknowledge and address a history of slavery and violence in the U.S. if we are to achieve the promise of an equal and just society, he says.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety releases open letter outlining changes in how it fights crime

February 2015  |  WWMT   

Last month, 15 city officials and social service providers from Kalamazoo, Michigan traveled to New York City for Ceasefire University, training on the implementation of the National Network’s Group Violence Intervention. As Kalamazoo gets ready to implement GVI, Kalamazoo Public Safety Department Chief Hadley wrote an open letter to the community to explain how the city is changing its approach to law enforcement, including a focus on building trust and legitimacy.

Tags: Kalamazoo Group Violence Intervention

Getting Past Homicide Numbers

February 2015  |  WYPR  

How do murder statistics reported by the media shape the way we think about our communities and the people who live in them? David M. Kennedy joined Sheila Kast and Jonna McKone on Maryland Morning's WYPR to consider some central questions about public safety, policing, violence, and National Network's Operation Ceasefire efforts in Baltimore.

Tags: Baltimore Group Violence Intervention

How conservatives are getting right on crime

February 2015  |  The Federalist  

Rachel Lu highlights Hawaii HOPE strategy, the initial implementation of the swift, certain, and fair approach by Judge Steven Alm, which has significantly reduced re-offending and ‪‎prison‬ time among low-level drug offenders by subjecting them to randomized drug testing and immediately issuing short jail sentences to non-compliant offenders.

Tags: Swift, Certain, & Fair

It Takes a Village to Stop Domestic Violence

February 2015  |  The Huffington Post  

In this Huffington Post article, Susan Scrupski discusses the culture shift necessary to reduce a community's domestic violence. For several years, High Point, NC, has been working with the National Network's model to effect just such a shift, insisting that abusers change their behavior rather than victims. The results have been dramatic.  High Point Police Chief Marty Sumner says, "The best way I know to make her safe is to make him stop."

Tags: High Point Domestic Violence Intervention

Training program focused on police community relations

January 2015  |  ABC7   

National Network for Safe Communities partner Andrew Papachristos of Yale University spoke on a panel called "Lessons from Ferguson" at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Said Papachristos: "People have biases whether they realize it or not, it doesn't mean that they're overtly racist…One of the things we also know is that we can actually train people around biases.” In particular, the panel looked at a Chicago Police Department in-service program aimed at training officers to improve routine interactions with the communities they serve.

Tags: Chicago National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

New Haven Police Chief Esserman named to board of National Intitiative

January 2015  |  New Haven Register  

We’re excited to announce that National Network's close partner Dean Esserman, chief of the New Haven Police Department and professor at Yale University has been appointed to the advisory board of the The United States Department of Justice' National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. Chief Esserman has spent his entire career in public service as a law enforcement practitioner and his expertise will be a tremendously valuable addition to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice-led initiative.

Tags: New Haven National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Initiative fights abuse head on

January 2015  |  Blue Ridge Now  

Now that it's been operating for several years and there are clear indications that it's working, the National Network for Safe Communities' offender-focused domestic violence initiative is beginning to be seen as a real opportunity to protect the most vulnerable women from the most dangerous ‪‎domestic violence‬ abusers. "The offender-focused model, which the Piedmont town of High Point has used to target domestic violence, holds tremendous promise. Its elements just make sense."

Tags: High Point Domestic Violence Intervention

Citizen Distrust Of Police Can Fuel Violence, David Kennedy Contends

January 2015  |  The Crime Report   

The Crime Report discusses the first convening of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which took place this week in Columbus, OH. A national panel of experts, including National Initiative leader David Kennedy discussed the initiative and the importance of enhancing procedural justice, reducing implicit bias, and promoting reconciliation. “These habits of mind can look and smell like racism, but they’re not,” Kennedy said.

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Racial Reconciliation

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