Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles

Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles

Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles

Reducing Gun Violence: Results from an Intervention in East Los Angeles

Synopsis

To assess whether an initiative to reduce gun violence that had been successful in Boston could be adapted for use elsewhere, researchers selected an East Los Angeles area for a similar intervention that was to include both law enforcement and social service components. Although the latter component was not widely available when the intervention began, researchers found that the intervention helped reduce violent and gang crime in the targeted districts and that crime also decreased in surrounding communities.

Excerpt

Violent crime, especially gun homicide, is concentrated in particular locations and populations. It affects cities more than other areas of the United States and is more likely to be committed by and against young males. Within cities, both violent crime and gun homicide by youths are concentrated in neighborhoods with high levels of poverty, drug dealing, or gang activity.

One recent response to this concentration of violence has been the Boston Gun Project, formed by a coalition of researchers, community leaders, criminal justice agency representatives, and clergy who researched, designed, implemented, and monitored a project to reduce youth violence by reducing gang and gun violence. Shortly after the launch of the project in 1996, youth homicide fell by about two-thirds in that city.

The Boston experience led the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to fund the RAND Corporation to assess whether the process used to reduce youth gun violence in Boston could be adapted elsewhere. The Hollenbeck area of Los Angeles was chosen for the replication.

This work of the RAND Public Safety and Justice program (now the Safety and Justice program), made possible by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, is intended for a wide range of audiences, including professionals with interests in crime and violence reduction, interagency cooperation, and youthful offending. Although the book focuses on Los Angeles, its lessons are drawn in part from experience elsewhere and have implications for a broad range of communities.

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