Friday, July 20, 2012

A New Approach to Combating Gun Violence in Brownsville

On July 17, 2012 members of the NYPD, KCDA, US Attorney and local service providers came together to spearhead the Brownsville Violence Reduction Initiative. The centerpiece of the Brownsville Violence Reduction Initiative model are call-ins-- forums convened by the program to be attended by high-risk parolees released to the Brownsville community. The parolees will be those considered to be at high-risk and also perpetrators and/or victims of gun violence. The forums will be held in a location of civic importance, like a church or library. The meeting will take place in a roundtable setting, where everyone is on equal footing and where the opportunity for interplay and connection will be enhanced. Each call-in will bring together as many as 20 individuals at a time, along with representatives of the community, service providers, and law enforcement.  The first scheduled call-in will take place on August 9th.

The message that will be delivered at the meetings will be three-fold: that the individuals in the room will be closely watched, that further violence is unacceptable, and that help is available to anyone who chooses to avail themselves of it. Importantly, this message will be delivered by both justice system personnel and community leaders.  In addition, ex-offenders who have turned away from crime will be recruited to talk about how they have changed their lives. The goal is to work in partnership with law enforcement, social service providers and the community itself to bring gun violence to an end.

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