Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Shooting, But New Approaches To Soliving The Problem Are Taking Hold

Playgrounds, basketball courts, block parties:  the spike in shootings this summer has particularly affected youth and young adults.  Last night, four teens were shot in a playground in the Brownsville area by a teen assailant who rode away on a bicycle. (The location, which is actually the nearby Ocean Hill neighborhood, was described by news reports as being in Brownsville.)  Click here, and here, for news coverage.

Fortunately, innovative approaches to this seemingly intractable problem are increasingly being used in New York.  Here, the Brownsville Community Justice Center is piloting a series of "call-ins" to utilize the theories of focused deterrence promoted by Tracy Meares and others.  On August 9th, representatives from the New York Police Department, Kings County District Attorney's Office,  US Attorney's Office, ex-offenders, and local service providers came together for our first Offender Notification Meeting. The meeting which is also called a "Call-In" convened sixteen high-risk parolees released to the Brownsville community. These parolees are also perpetrators and/or victims of gun violence.   The forum was held in a neutral, community-based location.  As described previously on this blog, the message was threefold: individuals in the room will be closely watched, further violence is unacceptable, and help is available to anyone who chooses to avail themselves of it.

In related news, see below for an excerpt from the current affairs show "Here and Now" in which Marlon Peterson, associate director of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, talks about their anti-gun violence efforts in an area very nearby to Brownsville. 

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