We know that in many American cities gun violence is not random; it exhibits a common pattern. The violence is driven to a large extent by groups of high-rate offenders. Group Violence Intervention (GVI) is a demonstratively effective strategy that seeks to alter the group dynamics in a subtle but consequential respect – by prompting group members to discourage rather than encourage one another to pick up a gun to preserve their standing on the street. GVI has variously been called focused deterrence, pulling levers, or “Operation Ceasefire.”
GVI has been adopted by cities across the nation with a large measure of direct and indirect guidance from the National Network for Safe Communities. Since 2012 the Institute has worked with partners in Syracuse on its GVI, Syracuse Truce. The Institute conducts problem analysis, provides implementation guidance, and monitors implementation and impacts. The Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Syracuse Police Department have funded the Institute’s work on Syracuse Truce. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is providing support to a number of cities to assist them in implementing GVI. With DCJS support under its Gun-Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, the Institute previously worked with partners in Albany, NY, on a process evaluation of its GVI strategy. The Institute has also worked with partners in Schenectady and Utica, providing guidance in the establishment and implementation of GVI: the formation and operations of GVI working groups, preparation for and execution of call-ins, the design of enforcement actions, the organization of a service network, the participation of the community, preparation for and delivery of custom notifications, and updating intelligence. We are providing on-going technical assistance with further implementation.
Supported by NYS DCJS [September, 2015 – October, 2016; October, 2017 – September, 2018]
Publications, Reports and Presentations
Sarah J. McLean, Kelly J. Becker and Jessica McCormick, 2016. Utica/Oneida Group Violence Intervention Problem Analysis. Report to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Albany, NY: John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety.
Sarah J. McLean, Kelly J. Becker and Jessica McCormick, 2016. City of Schenectady Group Violence Intervention Problem Analysis. Report to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Albany, NY: John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety.
Sarah J. Mclean and Jessica Roy, 2018. Oneida/Utica Save our Streets Group Violence Intervention Strategy: A Process Assessment. Report prepared for the Save Our Streets Working Group. Albany, NY: John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.