‘Blueprint for Peace’: Milwaukee Plan Targets Violence

The newly released 10-year plan takes a public health approach, looking at causes of violence and modeling strategies used in other cities. It aims to curb gun violence, promote restorative justice, support children and families, and bolster coordination of violence prevention efforts.

Milwaukee on Friday unveiled its “Blueprint for Peace,” a comprehensive 10-year plan to decrease violence, reports the city’s Journal Sentinel. The plan takes a public health approach, looking at causes of violence and modeling strategies used in other cities. “I think it establishes a clear vision for all of us to work for and a sense of accountability,” said Reggie Moore, director of the city’s Office of Violence Prevention, which led the creation of the plan. The blueprint is organized around six broad goals: stop the shooting; promote healing and restorative justice; support children, youth and families; promote economic opportunity; foster safe and strong neighborhoods; and strengthen the coordination of violence prevention efforts.

The 96-page document offers specific strategies to achieve each goal, as well as data, background and context. An example of one of those strategies is Ceasefire, a neighborhood-based program. The city’s 2018 budget includes $280,000 for that effort. Those strategies will be focused on 10 neighborhoods selected based on high rates of violence over the past three years. Those metrics will continue to be tracked, as will rates of youth employment, to measure effectiveness. The blueprint is intended to serve as a guide for 10 years, with annual evaluations and updates. It will be overseen by a new Milwaukee Violence Prevention Council, which has not yet been created.

from https://thecrimereport.org

GPS and Social Media Surveillance-Best Hope for Corrections?

Observations Electronic monitoring data on reductions of technical violations and returns to prison indicate the possibility of a more effective and humane way to supervise high-risk offenders. But the only effective way for that to happen is to staff a real-time, 24-365 operation where there are experts to evaluate the data points and to come […]

Observations Electronic monitoring data on reductions of technical violations and returns to prison indicate the possibility of a more effective and humane way to supervise high-risk offenders. But the only effective way for that to happen is to staff a real-time, 24-365 operation where there are experts to evaluate the data points and to come […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Newtown Shooter Lanza Did Not ‘Snap,” FBI Files Say

Newly released documents say that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, had planned the attack nearly two years earlier.

Adam Lanza, the shooter in the 2012 Newtown, Ct., elementary school massacre, “did not snap” and had planned the attack as early as March 2011, say newly released FBI documents reported by the Wall Street Journal. The bureau made public hundreds of pages of documents related to the criminal investigation of the shooting, providing new insight into the weeks leading up to the attack by Lanza, 20, in which he killed 20 children and six adults. Investigators found that Lanza had a deteriorating relationship with his mother Nancy in the days leading to the shooting. Ms. Lanza said her son, who had become a vegan, hadn’t left his room for three months before the shooting and would communicate only by email. Lanza told his mother he wanted to move to Seattle “where it was dark and gloomy.”

Ms. Lanza said her son hacked a government computer system when he was in the ninth grade. She said his hacking prompted a visit by either the FBI or the Central Intelligence Agency. The FBI told families of victims that Lanza had a complex background “featuring many problematic bio-psycho-social issues. Historical, clinical, and contextual factors contributed to the shooter’s extremely rigid world view. The shooter did not ‘snap,’ but instead engaged in careful, methodical planning and preparation.” The bureau said, “There is evidence to suggest that the shooter had an interest in children that could be categorized as pedophilia.” One person who claimed to communicate via email with Lanza said he “devoted almost all of his internet activity to researching and discussing mass murders and spree killings.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Put the Guns Down: A Chicago Strategy for Curbing Violence

An evaluation of the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy by the Urban Institute found that gun violence among targeted street groups was reduced by using community leaders and law enforcement in a strategy that combined moral persuasion and the promise of counseling and social services with the threat of criminal sanctions.

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, according to an Urban Institute study.

The study focused on the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy (VRS), launched in 2009 in Chicago neighborhoods identified as at-risk areas for shootings and gang activity. VRS involves calling in key members of violent street groups to meetings with community leaders and justice authorities, and putting them “on notice” that unless they desist from violent activities they will face criminal sanctions. But they are also given alternative options of counseling and social services if they put down their guns. Community leaders are also brought into the meetings to impress upon gang members that their actions are harming the neighborhood.

The program evaluation, which began in 2011, found that VRS was “associated with a 23 percent reduction in the shooting patterns of treated groups (victimization and offending) and a 32 percent reduction in the shooting victimization of group members.”

But it also found that the strategy’s impacts were limited to the neighborhoods themselves, and that widespread perceptions of mistrust in law enforcement represented a serious barrier to broader success.

“Mutual mistrust threatens VRS because the intervention’ s underlying logic is that stronger police -community relationships will reduce shootings,” said the study’s authors.  “ The mistrust underscores the intervention ’s importance in repairing and strengthening justice system–community relationships. “

The evaluation was conducted by Anika Dvwedi, Jocelyn Fontaine, Jesse Jannetta and David Leitson of the Urban Institute and Andrew Papachristos of Yale University. Funding was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The full study is available here.

 

from https://thecrimereport.org

TSA Gets Complaints Over ‘Invasive Touching’ Pat-Downs

Security agency defends a “more involved” pat-down procedure. An official says, “Pat-downs result in the discovery of knives and other dangerous items carried on a passenger’s person on a daily basis.”

Jenna MacFarlane, a Charlotte graphic designer, says she was “humiliated” by a full-body airport pat down. The Transportation Security Adminstration has launched a “more involved” pat-down procedure, the Charlotte Observer reports. TSA said its officers are trained to treat passengers with respect, doing the procedure with officers of the same gender as the passenger, with a second officer present. “Pat-downs result in the discovery of knives and other dangerous items carried on a passenger’s person on a daily basis,” spokesman Mike England said. “They are a valuable tool in keeping our skies safe.”

Some security experts question whether the screenings are effective, and civil liberties advocates say pat-downs can be nearly sexual in their intimacy. CNN political commentator Angela Rye posted a video of her own pat-down at Detroit’s airport last December. Rye said she fought back tears as a TSA agent twice touched her crotch. MacFarland, 56, filed complaints with TSA and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), saying that her search “was improper, uncalled for, and other searches could have been conducted that would have eliminated the need for invasive touching.” In response to complaint to Burr’s office, the agency said a test indicated explosives might have been in her bag, prompting the pat-down. None were found.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Can Communities Control Crime? The Baltimore Experiment

Subtitles “Are you saying you can’t keep your hood safe?” Cops want communities to take responsibility for their own crime problems. Gang members called Ceasefire organizers to say they would not engage in violence, Bridgeford said. Corner boys said their blocks would stay quiet. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national […]

Subtitles “Are you saying you can’t keep your hood safe?” Cops want communities to take responsibility for their own crime problems. Gang members called Ceasefire organizers to say they would not engage in violence, Bridgeford said. Corner boys said their blocks would stay quiet. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net

Can Communities Control Crime? The Baltimore Experiment

Subtitles “Are you saying you can’t keep your hood safe?” Cops want communities to take responsibility for their own crime problems. Gang members called Ceasefire organizers to say they would not engage in violence, Bridgeford said. Corner boys said their blocks would stay quiet. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national […]

Subtitles “Are you saying you can’t keep your hood safe?” Cops want communities to take responsibility for their own crime problems. Gang members called Ceasefire organizers to say they would not engage in violence, Bridgeford said. Corner boys said their blocks would stay quiet. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Can Making Neighborhoods Safer Boost Organized Crime?

A new study argues that innovative crime-reduction policies can lead to an increase in organized crime activities. Even though the impact may be temporary, according to author Iain W. Long of Cardiff University, his findings suggests a shrewd crime boss can undermine those strategies.

Innovative crime-reduction policies can produce a temporary increase in organized crime activity, argues a forthcoming study in The Manchester School, an economics journal edited by the University of Manchester (UK) School of Social Science.

While the increase may not be sustained over time, the potential for such policies to “backfire” adds an unexpected twist to crime-fighting strategies, writes Iain W. Long of Cardiff University in Wales.

Law enforcement agencies today employ a number of tactics, such as predictive policing and “hot-spot” targeting , to make neighborhoods safer and deter offenders— and the tactics are often linked to efforts by justice practitioners and social activists to promote court reform or reduce the socio-economic roots of criminal behavior, such as unemployment.

But a shrewd crime kingpin can undermine those efforts.

Under normal circumstances, activities aimed at increasing the “opportunity costs” of engaging in criminality discourage illegal activity and cause crime levels to fall, the study said.

“In the presence of organized crime, however, the outcome is less certain.”

While such activities can move many individuals “on the margins” away from crime, Long argued, organized criminal groups merely double down on their own activities with fewer but more determined members.

“Those who still opt for a career in the (criminal) organization are hardened criminals (and) they require relatively little compensation for engaging in criminal acts,” he wrote.

“With this in mind, the organization substitutes away from a large, inactive membership towards a small, prolific one. This may help to explain evidence suggesting that (a crime-reduction) policy can backfire in the presence of organized crime.”

Long applied a series of formulas to quantify what he said were the counter-intuitive effects of the reduction in some forms of criminality. The formulas suggested that “protracted” periods of organized criminal activity were a byproduct of concentrated efforts to reduce violence and other criminal behavior.

Organized crime groups’ ability to continue their activities or even strengthen them depended on crime bosses’ skills in motivating and attracting members, the study indicated.

Even traditional forms of crime-fighting—such as an upsurge in arrests—don’t necessarily weaken the cartels.

He cited for example the U.S. experience in the so-called War on Drugs in the 1980s, which not only saw a dramatic increase in arrests for heroin and cocaine trafficking, but an increase in successful convictions, from 85% in 1985 to 92% in 1989.

Yet, over the same period, “the availability of both drugs increased, whilst their prices remained stable,” Long wrote, suggesting that drug cartels had not been deterred.

The study, entitled “The Storm Before the Calm? Adverse Effects of Tackling Organized Crime,” will be published in The Manchester School journal next month. It is available on line here.

This summary was prepared by TCR Executive Editor Stephen Handelman. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

The Disabled and Vulnerable Groups Have Higher Rates of Violent Crime

Summary The rate of serious violent crime for persons with disabilities was more than three times the rate for persons without disabilities. People perceived as “vulnerable” are victimized more. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of […]

Summary The rate of serious violent crime for persons with disabilities was more than three times the rate for persons without disabilities. People perceived as “vulnerable” are victimized more. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net

The Disabled and Vulnerable Groups Have Higher Rates of Violent Crime

Summary The rate of serious violent crime for persons with disabilities was more than three times the rate for persons without disabilities. People perceived as “vulnerable” are victimized more. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of […]

Summary The rate of serious violent crime for persons with disabilities was more than three times the rate for persons without disabilities. People perceived as “vulnerable” are victimized more. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of […]

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net