The Strategic Prevention of Gun Violence Among Gang-Involved Offenders

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The Strategic Prevention of Gun Violence Among Gang-Involved Offenders

Category: Crime, Gun Markets, Homicide, Injury|Journal: Justice Quarterly (full text)|Author: A Braga, B Bond, G Pierce, J McDevitt, S Cronin|Year: 2008

Problem‐oriented policing has been suggested as a promising way to understand and prevent complex gang violence problems. A number of jurisdictions have been experimenting with new problem‐oriented frameworks to understand and respond to gun violence among gang‐involved offenders. These interventions are based on the “pulling levers” deterrence strategy that focuses criminal justice and social service attention on a small number of chronically offending gang members responsible for the bulk of urban gun violence problems. As part of the US Department of Justice‐sponsored Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, an interagency task force implemented a pulling levers strategy to prevent gang‐related gun violence in Lowell, Massachusetts. Our impact evaluation suggests that the pulling levers strategy was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the monthly number of gun homicide and gun‐aggravated assault incidents. A comparative analysis of gun homicide and gun‐aggravated assault trends in Lowell relative to other major Massachusetts cities also supports a unique program effect associated with the pulling levers intervention.

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