Group Violence Intervention

Suppression; Ages 15–21

Effectiveness

(Read the criteria for these ratings)
  • Effective gang program
  • Effective adult program

Description

The Group Violence Intervention is designed to reduce street-group involved violence and homicide. A partnership of law enforcement, community members, and social service providers directly engages the small and active number of people involved in violent street groups and delivers a credible moral message against violence, prior notice about the consequences of further violence, and a genuine offer of help for those who want it. This face-to-face meeting between group members and the strategy’s partners is a central method of communication.

Originally known as Boston "Operation Ceasefire,” the program was responsible for a 63 percent reduction in youth homicide victimization and has since been effectively implemented as the Group Violence Intervention (GVI). The typical impact is a 35 to 60 percent reduction in community-wide levels of homicides and a significant but sometimes lesser reduction in nonfatal shootings citywide (http://nnscommunities.org/our-work/faqs#7).

Replications of the Boston strategy demonstrated evidence of effectiveness in reducing serious violence generated by street gangs or criminally active street groups in Cincinnati, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; Lowell, MA; Chicago, IL; and Stockton, CA (Braga & Wesiburd, 2012)

Risk Factors

Individual
Exposure to firearm violence
Gang involvement in adolescence
General delinquency involvement
High alcohol/drug use
High drug dealing
Illegal gun ownership/carrying
Mental health problems
Physical violence/aggression
Violent victimization
Community
Availability and use of drugs in the neighborhood
Availability of firearms
Feeling unsafe in the neighborhood
High-crime neighborhood
Neighborhood physical disorder
Neighborhood youth in trouble
Peer
Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
Association with gang-involved peers/relatives
Peer alcohol/drug use

Endorsements

Effective program: CrimeSolutions.gov, Model Program Guide, National Gang Center

Contact

David M. Kennedy
Director
National Network for Safe Communities
Phone: (212) 484-1323
E-mail: dakennedy@jjay.cuny.edu
Web site: http://nnscommunities.org

References

Braga, A. A., and Hureau, D. M. (2012). Strategic problem analysis to guide comprehensive gang violence reduction strategies. In E. Gebo & B. J. Bond (Eds.), Beyond suppression: Community strategies to reduce gang violence (pp. 129–151). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Braga, A. A., Papachristos, A. V., & Hureau, D. M. (2012). The effects of hot spots policing on crime: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Justice Quarterly, iFirst:1–31.

Braga, A. A., and Weisburd, D. L. (2012). The effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the empirical evidence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49, 323–358.

National Network for Safe Communities. (2013). Group Violence Intervention: An Implementation Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. National Network for Safe Communities: http://nnscommunities.org

Braga, A. A. (2015). Police Gang Units and Effective Gang Violence Reduction. In S. Decker & D. C. Pyrooz (Eds.) The Wiley Handbook of Gangs (pp. 309-327). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Braga, A. A., & Hureau, D. M. (2012). Strategic problem analysis to guide comprehensive gang violence reduction strategies. In E. Gebo and B.J. Bond (Eds.). Beyond suppression: Community strategies to reduce gang violence (pp. 129-151). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Braga, A. A. and Weisburd, D. L. (2012). The effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the empirical evidence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49, 323–358.

Braga, A. A., & Weisburd, D. L. (2015). Focused deterrence and the prevention of violent gun injuries: practice, theoretical principles, and scientific evidence. Annual Review of Public Health, 36, 55-68.

McGarrell, E.F., Chermak S., Wilson, J.M., & N. Corsaro (2006). “Reducing homicide through a ‘lever-pulling’ strategy.” Justice Quarterly, 23, 214–31.

Wellford, C. F., J. V. Pepper, and C. V. Petrie, eds. (2005). “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review.” Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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