Stop Killing

Friday, October 14, 2011

David M. Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and author of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America, talks about his search for a solution to urban street violence, resulting in the "Boston Miracle," where youth homicide dropped by two-thirds.


David M. Kennedy

Comments [8]

Visiting from the future

Jan. 02 2013 11:44 AM
Jessie Henshaw from way uptown

One of the things rather easy to miss in why the better strategy was so unexpectedly effective is a change in the environment.

The drug cultures of the 1980's were very resilient. What kept the crime suppression efforts from working then was partly that just as fast as criminals were pulled off the "street corners" the community kids would join in to claim their roles and fill the empty slot... In 1990 that replacement process broke down.

I did a study of it, and lots of interviews. What was consistent with the evidence was that there was a moment, in the summer of 1990, when ALL the messages started getting though to the families and the kids. The math is such, that as of that summer the community simply stopped supplying the street crime culture with new volunteers.

What else occurred at the same time in the youth culture?? One was the emergence of "something better to do" in the form of Hip-Hop becoming a legitimate counter culture in itself.

Oct. 14 2011 11:49 AM
Paula Overbay from Brooklyn

The book is cheaper at Abebooks.

Oct. 14 2011 11:49 AM
Allisonanywhere from Bed-Stuy

We are outraged. We call the police constantly. They say they cannot send police to our neighborhood because they all have to be in an "impact zone" so our blocks are left alone and unpoliced. There is no preventive crime presence. This was admitted by the police themselves.

Oct. 14 2011 11:48 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

This is pretty fascinating to listen to, as a former resident of Boston, and a current resident of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Has the author had any contact with the NYPD, specifically in Brooklyn?

Parts of Bed-Stuy are rife with young men with guns. I have witnessed 4 shootings in the span of 2 months, and recently, those shootings claimed the life of an innocent bystander.

How do the gang members explain their seeming disregard for human life, and their impulse to solve petty disputes via gunfire? Do THEY think this makes their neighborhoods dangerous and depressing to live in?

Oct. 14 2011 11:48 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

To the caller: You're right, there's no real public outrage.

Oct. 14 2011 11:44 AM
john from office

What about trying to make the family structure better in these areas. These gang members must have some sort of family.

Oct. 14 2011 11:44 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Newburgh? Is it really better? Not from the news reports I read.

Oct. 14 2011 11:40 AM

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