• Impact

    Scores of American cities have implemented the National Network's strategies with powerful impact over nearly two decades. Substantial research and field experience has proven that these interventions are associated with large reductions in violence and other serious crime.

The National Network's approach has 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

A Better Way to Deal With Intimate Partner Violence

November 2017  |  Governing Magazine  

In this op-ed for Governing Magazine, IPVI Director Rachel Teicher explains why victims of intimate partner and domestic violence don't trust the criminal justice system, and outlines how procedural justice can improve victim perceptions of law enforcement. "This trust could provide the foundation for a new vision of public safety: safer communities that are empowered by positive, ongoing and successful cooperation with law enforcement. Increased confidence in criminal-justice practitioners improves victim participation and offender accountability, and it provides law enforcement with the resources it needs to address and ultimately reduce these violent crimes."

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Tackling history of race and policing starts with well-informed officers

October 2017  |  The Hill  

In this op-ed for The Hill, two Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers involved with the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice explain why they feel it's important for police to understand the history of race in America (and how police departments are perceived by marginalized communities). "By addressing concrete aspects of local and national history, procedural justice training places each officer’s identity and perceptions into the context of a broader historical perspective." 

Tags: Pittsburgh National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Why Do We Ignore Initiatives That Reduce Gun Violence?

October 2017  |  New York Times  

"While movies, television and news outlets often give the impression that entire cities and neighborhoods are filled with thugs, criminals and killers, the reality is that those responsible for a majority of shootings represent a tiny percentage of the residents of any given city. In response to this fact, effective gun violence reduction strategies adopt a highly targeted, data-based approach in which the small number of individuals most at risk for shooting (and being shot) are provided with individualized programs of support and pressure to lay down their guns. To this end, law enforcement officials, clergy members, community leaders, social service providers and mentors who have themselves escaped violent lifestyles work in partnership with one another to help these individuals turn their lives around."

Tags: ChicagoOakland Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Here’s What Actually Reduces Gun Violence

October 2017  |  Buzzfeed  

Some of the strongest evidence on reducing gun violence comes not from controls on gun purchases, but from an approach to policing called "focused deterrence." Since rolled out in dozens of other cities, repeated studies have shown that the approach can reduce urban gun violence — typically by between 20 and 40%.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

How Not to Respond to the Rising Murder Rate

September 2017  |  The New York Times  

In an op-ed for the The New York Times, Harvard researcher Thomas Abt responds to the 2016 FBI crime data report & makes the case for a new national dialogue on crime—a dialogue informed by evidence and not by ideology. He also had more than a few things to say about why our Group Violence Intervention is best suited to reduce serious violence.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

States move to restrict domestic abusers from carrying guns

September 2017  |  Washington Post  

Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, published a study this week showing that states that require people with restraining orders to relinquish the firearms they already own have a 14 percent lower rate of intimate-partner gun-related homicides than states that don’t.

Tags: Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

New Orleans sees recent dip in murders after spike in first half of 2017

September 2017  |  The Times-Picayune  

New Orleans averaged a murder about every other day in the first six months of 2017 - startling for a city of less than 400,000 people - but the police chief said last week he was encouraged by a dip in killings that started the second half of the year. The city went without a murder for an entire week in July, and there was a 10-day stretch without a murder from late August until Cierra Green and Terry Jones were both fatally shot in a Desire-area apartment on Sept. 6.

Tags: New Orleans Group Violence Intervention

Jeff Sessions’s evidence-free crime strategy

September 2017  |  The Hill  

In an op-ed for The Hill, Director David Kennedy pushes back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions's "tough-on-crime" rhetoric and regression to War on Drugs-style policies of the 1980s. "We need effective crime reduction strategies, just as we did in the '80s ... and we know enough to do better this time," Kennedy says. "We should do so, not willfully repeat the horrific mistakes of the recent past."


Intervention, other initiatives help turn around young lives in Newburgh

September 2017  |  Times Herald-Record  

Before Joe Alvarez landed a job welding for renowned sculptor Frank Stella, and before the Newburgh native founded the grassroots organization behind many of the city’s positive initiatives, he was “Florida Rock.”

Alvarez is one example of how teenagers and young men mired in drug dealing and violent crime can turn around their lives. That philosophy drives one of the core missions of Group Violence Intervention, an approach to violent crime based on a proven national model.

Tags: Newburgh Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Stripping elected officials of power only undermines voters

September 2017  |  The Hill  

In an op-ed for The Hill, IIP Executive Director Meg Reiss argues that the Florida Supreme Court disenfranchised the will of the people in its Aramis Ayala vs. Rick Scott decision, and that this decision impacts the fate of all democratically elected prosecutors. 

Tags: Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

American policing is broken. Here’s how to fix it.

September 2017  |  Vox  

In this piece, Vox's German Lopez cites NNSC Director David Kennedy on how to improve police-community relations. The first step? Police must acknowledge the history of harm perpetuated by their institutions, else community distrust of law enforcement will persist. 

Tags: National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Niagara prosecutors try frank talk to steer offenders to better path

September 2017  |  The Buffalo News  

The July 13 meeting in the Niagara Falls Public Library was set up under a state-sponsored program called GIVE - Gun-Involved Violence Elimination - used in 17 counties since 2014. Meeting with felons is one way the program tries to reach its goal of reducing violent crime, and the batting average for the GIVE program seems good: of the 19 men called in for meetings in June 2016 and January of this year, only four were subsequently arrested.

Tags: Niagara Falls Institute for Innovation in Prosecution Group Violence Intervention

Put the Guns Down: A Chicago Strategy for Curbing Violence

August 2017  |  The Crime Report  

According to a recent report from the Urban Institute, a strategy aimed at reducing gun violence in Chicago by targeting gang members most at risk of being victims or perpetrators with a combination of “moral suasion” and the threat of criminal sanctions resulted in significant reductions of violence.

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

ACLU taps tech to help the public hold district attorneys accountable to criminal justice reform

August 2017  |  TechCrunch  

The MeetYourDA online campaign aims to build power in local communities to hold district attorneys accountable to criminal justice reform and put district attorney races on the map. A collaborative effort between the ACLU and Elefint Designs, MeetYourDA makes it easy for constituents to learn who their county’s district attorney is and how they stand on certain policy issues. Through the MeetYourDA platform, constituents can easily contact their DAs.

Tags: Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

Kalamazoo police using targeted, community-based approach to stop violent crime

August 2017  |  WWMT  

In this article and an accompanying TV news segment, WWMT introduces Kalamazoo's GVI implementation, which incorporates a "weekly round table wth an alphabet soup of law enforcement officers."

Tags: Kalamazoo Group Violence Intervention

Now Minneapolis’ top cop, Medaria Arradondo brings useful skills to big task

August 2017  |  Star Tribune  

Recently confirmed Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, acknowledging the historical mistreatment of minorities by law enforcement: "When legislative laws came down, whether it's segregating our schools or universities, police were the people on the front lines that were thrust into those very hot-button social issues. This has not changed today."

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

Editorial: Let Prisoners Learn While They Serve

August 2017  |  The New York Times  

Using more than $7 million in criminal forfeiture money secured from banks, Manhattan District Attorney—and Institute for Innovation in Prosecution Advisory Board Co-Chair—Cyrus Vance Jr. will fund New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's prison education plan. The program will expand the number of inmates taking college courses from 1,000 to about 3,500.

Tags: Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

Lenore Anderson: On justice reforms, L.A. County should look forward, not back

August 2017  |  Los Angeles Daily News  

"Public safety challenges in Los Angeles are real and must be addressed. However, the question is not what’s wrong with reforms attempting to correct problems, but what the county can do to effectively effectuate recent reforms — and go even farther.

Looking beyond tradition, officials will find that community leaders and crime experts alike have known for many years what works. Powerful and effective programs like the Watts Gang Task Force, where law enforcement and community street intervention teams work together to address violence at the neighborhood level; or the Community Collaborative Court in Compton that combines case management with treatment and court supervision; or The Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center that’s providing wrap around support for crime victims and their families, reducing crime and empowering communities in the process."

Tags: Los Angeles Support and Outreach

Chattanooga holds first VRI call-in since Mayor announces Roddy as Chief

August 2017  |  WRCB-TV  

Chattanooga held its 11th call-in since the Violence Reduction Initiative began in 2014 and the first since Mayor Andy Berke named Deputy Chief David Roddy Chattanooga’s top cop. Along with Chief Roddy, the meeting's speakers included Public Safety Coordinator Troy Rogers, a federal prosecutor, an attorney with the DA’s office, a former gang member, and a mother who's lost a son to gang violence almost two years ago.

Tags: Chattanooga Group Violence Intervention

IIP Director Meg Reiss: Criminal justice reform starts with the prosecutor

August 2017  |  The Hill  

"Traditionally, prosecutors are seen as measuring success in terms of convictions, plea bargains or the amount of punishment exacted. But prosecutors are rethinking their role in the criminal justice system. In a time where the future of criminal justice reform at the federal level is uncertain, justice delivery at the local level is even more important, and this shift represents a powerful sea change in thinking. "

Tags: Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

644,000 Old Warrants Scrapped for Crimes Like Public Drinking

August 2017  |  The New York Times  

The district attorneys for Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens collectively moved to dismiss about 644,000 warrants, the latest in a string of actions to reduce the number of people passing through the criminal courts and city jails on charges that would otherwise merit little more than a fine or community service.

Tags: New York City Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

Changing the Minds of Hurt People Who Have Hurt People

August 2017  |  WNYC  

Risco Mention-Lewis, Deputy Police Commissioner in the Suffolk County Police Department, opens up about her work with formerly incarcerated individuals in the town of Wyandanch, in Suffolk County, on Long Island, in order to "reset the moral standard," as she puts it. She's joined by Micah Danney, freelance journalist, who wrote about her story for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The movement is called COTA, the Council of Thought and Action, and was started by Mention-Lewis. She leads weekly meetings, comprised mostly of men who have been incarcerated, where they just talk about their lives, aiming to change minds, and ultimately lower recidivism rates.

Tags: Hempstead Support and Outreach

Kalamazoo holds first GVI call-in

August 2017  |  MLive  

Kalamazoo's GVI implementation involves a broad-based partnership that includes the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Michigan Department of Corrections Probation and Parole, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan, the Northside Ministerial Alliance, and the Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy & Action in the Community.

Tags: Kalamazoo Group Violence Intervention

Three New Books Discuss How to Confront and Reform Racist Policing

July 2017  |  The New York Times  

As Yale Law School's Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler write in the anthology "Policing the Black Man," "the more trust communities have in the police, the more likely they are to report crime, provide testimony and help 'to hold offenders accountable.'"

Tags: Institute for Innovation in ProsecutionNational Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Birmingham Chief A.C. Roper: Regardless of Income or Status Our Citizens Deserve to Be Safe

July 2017  |  The Birmingham Times  

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper: "Although it takes time, [our violence reduction] is starting to see positive results. For example, in this segment of our population, homicides are down 33 percent and non- fatal shootings are down 60 percent for the first half of this year."

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

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