• 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

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

Jacksonville police using new intervention strategy to crack gangs, curb gun violence

August 2017  |  The Florida Times-Union  

It is one of the newest strategies in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arsenal to muzzle the gun violence that helped drive many of the 85 homicides so far this year.

It’s resulted in about 1,500 arrests and the seizure of almost 300 guns in the past year, plus dented violent gangs. The Group Violence Intervention strategy was born from a simple formula — face-to-face talks between cops and that 1 percent that Sheriff Mike Williams said are responsible for about 40 percent of the city’s violent crimes.

The message — stop or we stop you, Williams said as he pointed to 35 photos spread across two tables. Out of that group of people, 33 were arrested from three gangs and two were murdered.

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

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

Sheriff touts technology, anti-gang effort in JSO’s fight against violence

August 2017  |  News4Jax  

Sheriff Mike Williams said part of the National Network for Safe Communities gang initiative was warning the gang members that if they committed crimes, they would be arrested. Now many are in jail.

“The messaging is, 'Don't be the most violent gang in the city. Don't shoot or kill anyone. Those are the new rules,'” Williams said. “This is what happens when you violate those rules. You become the most violent gang in the city, you become the priority of not only JSO but our law enforcement partners. This is the end result of that.”

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

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

Community comes together to tackle violence

August 2017  |  The Royal Gazette  

Representatives from the street, the clergy, the community and Government came together for an anti-violence event at the weekend.

The event — called Changing Lives — was organised by Desmond Crockwell, chief editor of VisionzMagazine, and coincided with the coming second issue of the publication.

The standing-room only event, held at the Bermuda Public Service Union on Saturday night, also included, among others, Cal Burgess, Kenneth Butterfield, Ralph Burrows, Ceble Crockwell, Kenneth Matthew, Andre Minors, Pastor Maria Seaman and Dr Gina Spence.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

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

Fort Myers police restructure, seek help to improve credibility

August 2017  |  The News-Press  

Officer misconduct is under investigation, citizen complaints are properly handled and planned restructuring may be the key to success.

But there has been some resistance to change within the Fort Myers Police Department, according to a new report by Freeh Group International Solutions.

“Although there have been individuals who have sought to undermine this initiative,” the report reads, “(Chief Derrick Diggs) has continued his efforts internally to identify current and future leaders of the FMPD who are committed to improving the quality of service provided by the FMPD.”

Tags: Fort Myers Group Violence Intervention

In Buffalo’s children, wounds no one sees

July 2017  |  The Buffalo News  

It was the first week of summer vacation, and Juan Rodriguez couldn’t wait to get outside to play with his friends on Humason Avenue.

But when he heard gunshots outside, the 11-year-old ran to the front door to get his younger siblings out of the line of fire. As he opened the door, a bullet from a high-powered rifle struck him between the eyes and went through his brain.

Miraculously, Juan survived.

But his life changed forever.

So did the lives of the other children on Humason, just like thousands of Buffalo schoolchildren who live on city streets where violence is a constant part of their lives.

Tags: Buffalo 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

Top Chicago prosecutor ‘stunned’ at how few gun cases brought to trial yield convictions

July 2017  |  Chicago Tribune  

According to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, about 80 percent of those charged with gun crimes in 2016 pleaded guilty, with the remainder of the cases going to trial. Only about 30 percent of the defendants whose cases were decided by a judge in a bench trial were convicted, while juries convicted about 42 percent of the gun crime suspects whose cases were brought before them, Foxx told the editorial board.

"It's an embarrassing number," Foxx said.

Tags: Chicago Group Violence Intervention

IIP Director Meg Reiss: America’s New Breed of Prosecutors

July 2017  |  The Crime Report  

"Communities across the country are demanding a criminal justice system that advances safety and justice – and prosecutors are stepping up to heed the call."

Tags: Institute for Innovation in Prosecution

Gun violence remains major issue to overcome in Bermuda

July 2017  |  The Royal Gazette  

The new Progressive Labour Party government will have its plate full with a wide range of complex issues. Among them will be the deeply disturbing trend of gun violence, believed to be gang-related, which seems unstoppable despite numerous efforts by previous governments, police, community leaders, and cries from various sections of public life that something needs to be done to halt what could become a nightmare for every Bermudian who desires a safe and healthy society.

Tags: Group Violence Intervention

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