• 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

American Police Must Own Their Racial Injustices

July 2018  |  The American Prospect  

To improve relationships with communities of color, a reconciliation movement has begun in several cities, in which police brush up on their history, admit past mistakes, and listen to frank talk and hard truths. 

Tags: BirminghamLos AngelesStockton National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Reconciliation

John Jay President Karol V. Mason

June 2018  |  John Jay College of Criminal Justice  

When a parent looks down at their newborn child, they’re filled with hope. A hope that if this child works hard in life, he’ll be successful. It doesn’t matter where he was born, how much his parents make, or his ethnicity. That hope is there. It’s a hope we pride ourselves on as a nation—we’re the “Land of Opportunity.” But in today’s America—where many black and brown children are often looked at with more suspicion and less empathy—we have to start asking ourselves a tough question: Do we give every child the same opportunities?


Police geeks trying to win over old-school cops

June 2018  |  BBC  

In a bid to regain the trust of the public and reform their profession, more working police officers are learning to do their own research. Meet the police pracademics.


‘Zero-tolerance’ approach not very effective, experts say

June 2018  |  ABC News  

In order for any “zero-tolerance” policy to take effect and stop people from committing crimes, the criminals have to know that such uniform consequences are handed out, David Kennedy, a criminal justice professor at John Jay College, told ABC News.

“If zero-tolerance or any other law enforcement policy is designed to deter than it can’t possibly work until people know that that’s what’s waiting for them,” said Kennedy, who also heads the school’s center for study on violence prevention, called the National Network for Safe Communities.


New Haven Project Longevity, Urban League hold community conversation

June 2018  |  New Haven Register  

City police Lts. John Healy and David Zanelli are trying to open a dialogue with the communities they serve.

Healy and Zanelli are district managers for the Dwight/Chapel and Fair Haven districts, respectively, who engaged with residents in an event this week in an effort to build bridges between two communities often at odds. It was held by Project Longevity New Haven and the Urban League of Southern Connecticut’s New Haven office.

Tags: New Haven Group Violence Intervention

Baton Rouge officials ramp up custom home visits hoping to intervene in group violence

June 2018  |  The Advocate  

With the arrival of summer's notorious bloody months and the now-defunct anti-violence initiative BRAVE in the rear-view mirror, Baton Rouge's law enforcement officials are embracing a new method for violence intervention: showing up unannounced to the homes of those they believe are linked to the violence.  

These home visits, coined "custom notifications" by researchers with the National Network for Safe Communities based in New York, are set up to demonstrate to these people — on a very personal level — that law enforcement is aware of their ties to potential violence, to warn them of the consequences of such violence and to offer them support if they choose a different path, said Baton Rouge Police Deputy Chief Herbert "Tweety" Anny. 

Tags: Baton Rouge Group Violence Intervention Custom Notifications

Engagement over enforcement key to reducing gun violence, activist says

June 2018  |  The Toronto Star  

Community outreach programs were part of the successful Operation Ceasefire in Boston, where police teamed up with religious ministers and social activists to engage with at-risk youth and gang members.

The project, implemented between 1996 and 2000, was credited for a decline of 63 per cent among youth murders in Boston, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The model has since been replicated in other jurisdictions across the United States and Canada.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

The war on drugs failed. It’s time for a war on abuse

June 2018  |  CNN  

Instead of incentivizing police to go after the money and property of people they merely suspect of having drugs, they should be incentivized to pursue dangerous abusers.

Over 70% of sheriff's offices serving 25,000 or more residents participated in a drug task force in 2007, the most recent year for which data was available. Imagine if those sheriff's deputies were assigned to a domestic violence team, investigating abusers, serving protective orders, and following up with the most dangerous repeat offenders.

Tags: Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

This city in N.C. has reduced domestic violence. Why can’t Orlando?

June 2018  |  Orlando Sentinel  

Central Florida should be looking to High Point, N.C., a town of just more than 100,000 people outside Greensboro, where police have come down hard on perpetrators of domestic violence and sharply reduced the number of related killings. In the five years before starting the crackdown strategy, High Point saw 17 domestic violence-related murders. In the five years since the program has been in place, that number dropped to six.

Tags: High Point Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Minneapolis Police Chief hopes new department position creates better community relations

June 2018  |  Fox  

A unique idea is about to become reality for Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. 

Chief Arradondo came up with the position of “community navigator” and asked the City Council to approve the budget for it. While Chief Arradondo wanted two dozen positions, the council gave him four. 

The chief hopes a Minneapolis Police Department community navigator can help create a better connection with people in the city. 

“We are not going to be able really to arrest these problems away, nor do I as chief want to see our department in any way shape or form criminalizing some of these conditions that effect our city,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Tags: Minneapolis National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

Calling MS-13 ‘Animals’ Isn’t Just Racist—It’s Dangerous and Counterproductive

June 2018  |  The Crime Report  

On May 21, the White House issued a statement that repeatedly used the word “animals” to describe people involved in the MS-13 gang. Two days later, at a public forum on Long Island, this language was repeated and reinforced.

MS-13 (the initials for Mara Salvatrucha) originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s through a complex interplay of people fleeing El Salvador’s civil war, Mexican gangs in southern California, and US immigration policy.

Tags: NNSC International

Where Killings Go Unsolved

June 2018  |  The Washington Post  

The Washington Post has identified the places in dozens of American cities where murder is common but arrests are rare. These pockets of impunity were identified by obtaining and analyzing up to a decade of homicide arrest data from 50 of the nation’s largest cities. The analysis of 52,000 criminal homicides goes beyond what is known nationally about the unsolved cases, revealing block by block where police fail to catch killers. 

Tags: Chicago

Editorial: Innovative ideas needed to combat street violence

June 2018  |  York Dispatch  

Two years ago, York City officials responded to persistent street violence with a multi-pronged initiative modeled after a nationally renowned criminologist's work in Boston decades ago.

The premise of Group Violence Intervention is relatively simple: A small number of people in any city commit most violent crimes, so police need to identify and target that group of people, who are often involved in gangs, the drug trade or both.

Tags: York Group Violence Intervention

The Realities Of MS-13

June 2018  |  NPR  

David Kennedy, a criminal justice professor at John Jay College, tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro what we know about the international criminal gang MS-13 compared with President Trump's statements.


Fewer Immigrants Are Reporting Domestic Abuse. Police Blame Fear of Deportation.

June 2018  |  The New York Times  

For years, she slept with a gun under her pillow, living in fear of a boyfriend who beat her, controlled her life and threatened to kill her and her children. Domenica, who came to this country illegally from Mexico in 1995 and became part of the booming immigrant community in Houston, said her partner was a United States citizen, and often reminded her that she could be deported if she went to the police.

“He told me nobody would help me, because I don’t have papers,” said Domenica, 38, who has a son and daughter with her boyfriend, and asked that her last name not be used in order to protect them. “I was with him like that for a pretty long time. I felt like there was no help for me.”

Tags: Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Kalamazoo police say focus on group violence reduces shootings

May 2018  |  MLive  

Less than half of one percent of Kalamazoo residents are involved in more than half of the city's homicides and shootings.

People who disproportionately commit violent acts and suffer from them often are associated with street groups, police said. It's why the city's department of public safety is committed to a program to reduce gang violence, an initiative beginning to yield results. 

"Groups" are described by police as loose affiliations of people, who may be in gangs but are not necessarily formally organized.

According to statistics provided by Chief Karianne Thomas during a May 29 City Commission work session, shootings involving members of groups identified by police decreased from 18 to 3 between 2014-17

Tags: Kalamazoo Group Violence Intervention

National researchers meet with Baton Rouge leaders in partnership addressing violence

May 2018  |  The Advocate  

Baton Rouge law enforcement, community and human services leaders met Wednesday with academics from the National Network for Safe Communities, beginning a partnership aimed at decreasing youth gang violence and domestic violence in the capital city. 

Representatives from the New York-based John Jay College of Criminal Justice shared their violence intervention framework, hoping to jump-start the same strategies used in the now-defunct BRAVE program — which Baton Rouge leaders hailed for years as a success before its disgraced end in 2017 and have since revived in the Truce program — but also to pilot a revolutionary way to address domestic violence offenders. 

Tags: Baton Rouge Group Violence InterventionIntimate Partner Violence Intervention

Have You Ever Seen Someone Be Killed?

May 2018  |  The New York Times  

Researchers with the Boston Reentry Study were one year into their interviews, following 122 men and women as they returned from prison to their neighborhoods and families, when they asked the kind of question that’s hard to broach until you know someone well.

They prompted the study’s participants to think back to childhood. “Did you ever see someone get killed during that time?”


Police Legitimacy and Homicide: A Macro-Comparative Analysis

May 2018  |  Social Forces  

This study tests the claim that police legitimacy affects the prevalence of homicide. The analysis suggests that police legitimacy has a substantial, negative association with homicide rates, consistent across different sources of homicide data and controlling for a variety of economic, political, and demographic variables. 

Tags: NNSC International

Violent Crime in the United States: Focus, Prevention and Legitimacy

April 2018  |  The United States Studies Centre  

PODCAST: Following the recent March for Our Lives, gun violence is front and centre in America’s law and order debate. Join us at our upcoming event in collaboration with the National Network for Safe Communities looking at how cities implement strategies to reduce violence, improve public safety and minimise arrest and incarceration. Can certain interventions improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities it serves?

Tags: NNSC International

Ulster County launches first-in-NY effort to reduce domestic violence by intimate partners

April 2018  |  Daily Freeman  

The National Network for Safe Communities’ Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (IPVI) was introduced during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright, flanked by cardboard silhouettes representing 11 local women killed by their partners, said the initiative uses statistical analysis and data from different agencies to identify people who might commit intimate partner violence.

“Once we’ve identified a person who we think is going to commit domestic violence again, we have personal contact with them,” Carnright said. “In addition to the personal contact we have with the offender or potential offender, we have a parallel process where we engage the victims. We do what we’ve been doing for a while. We try to educate the victims, make sure they understand about services that are available to them.”

Tags: Kingston Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Domestic abusers: Dangerous for women — and lethal for cops

April 2018  |  USA TODAY  

One local police department has spent the past six years pioneering a strategy that can help identify domestic violence abusers. High Point, N.C., had a problem. From 2004 to 2008, one-third of the city’s murders were related to intimate partner violence, well above both the state and national averages, according to former police chief Jim Fealy. So in 2009, the police department, in partnership with the National Network for Safe Communities, began to take action. Its approach tracks alleged abusers and intervenes accordingly depending upon the severity of the violence. From 2012, when the strategy was implemented, to 2014, there was just one intimate partner violence homicide in the city, compared with 17 from 2004 to 2011. Calls to police in High Point to report intimate partner violence declined by 20%, as did arrests, and the percentage of victims who were injured also dropped from 2012 to 2014.

Tags: High Point Intimate Partner Violence Intervention

Taking Aim at Gun Violence, With Personal Deterrence

April 2018  |  New York Times  

In this opinion piece for the New York Times, Tina Rosenberg highlights the NNSC's group violence prevention work across jurisdictions. 

In Pittsburgh, homicides hit a 12-year low in 2017; the mayor credited Ceasefire. Detroit’s homicide rate hit a 50-year low in 2017. Its police chief, James Craig, said in an interview that the city had started Ceasefire in two high-crime precincts in 2015 and has gradually expanded it. “I wasn’t much of a believer when I first got to Detroit,” he said. “But what we have in place now is probably one of the better-working Ceasefire models. It has had a profound impact on sustaining violent crime reduction.”

In Newburgh, statistics in a voluminous New York State report show shootings are way down (See pdf, page 1202) — from 55 victims in 2015 to 17 last year. Violent crime, especially firearm crime, has plummeted. In 2012, the year Oakland began its current version of Ceasefire, it was the third-most dangerous American city, with 126 murders. Last year it had 74. In 2017, Oakland had 277 nonfatal shootings — down from 557 in 2012.

Tags: DetroitNewburghOaklandPittsburgh Group Violence Intervention Custom NotificationsSupport and Outreach

Pittsburgh gun violence drops to 12-year low; mayor credits police anti-gang efforts

March 2018  |  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  

Through Tuesday afternoon, the city had seen 14 non-fatal shootings in 2018, Cmdr. Joseph said, compared to 31 through the same period last year — a 55 percent decrease.

He attributes the decline to the bureau’s Group Violence Intervention [GVI], a strategy that aims to reduce gang-related gun violence by targeting the city’s most violent gang members while also offering social services and support to those who agree to stop shooting.

Tags: Pittsburgh National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice Group Violence Intervention Support and Outreach

Case Study: Using DMI to Combat Covert Opioid Markets

March 2018  |  Police Chief Magazine  

Today’s opioid markets are different from the open-air drug markets that were subject to special attention in past DMI implementations; they are, in particular, covert rather than overt. People are not, for the most part, standing out on street corners selling opioids or operating flagrant drug houses. The role that was played by geographic location in overt markets is instead played by social networks of dealers and addicts. But, within those networks, potentially similar elements operate: supply, demand, and the need for the successful functioning of markets. In principle, as long as the structure of an opioid market can be analyzed and its key dynamics identified, the logic of market disruption might be applicable. In considering a “covert market” DMI, the two most pressing practical questions seem to be: (1) Is it possible to identify the shape of the market and, especially, the key dealers in it? and (2) Is the number of key dealers manageably small, and can we imagine a practical and potentially meaningful intervention?

Tags: Rutland Drug Market Intervention

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