Violent crime, especially gun homicide, is concentrated in particular locations and populations, affects cities more than other areas of the United States and is more likely to be committed by and against young males. RAND was asked to assess whether an initiative to reduce gun violence that had been successful in Boston could be adapted for use elsewhere. Researchers selected a 15-square-mile area in East Los Angeles where inter-gang rivalries were prevalent for a similar intervention. The intervention included increased police presence, more stringent enforcement of housing codes for properties used by gang members, more stringent enforcement of parole and probation conditions, referral of gun law violations to federal prosecutors, and rapid application of these elements after each violent incident — in addition to social service components. However, a walk-by shooting and resulting double homicide triggered implementation of the intervention before the latter component was widely available. The researchers found that the intervention helped reduce violent and gang crime in the targeted districts, both during and immediately after implementation. The intervention did not disperse crime from the targeted areas and gangs to others; crime decreased in surrounding communities as well. However, the intervention was not implemented as designed, and it never developed in response to changing needs. For future similar projects to work beyond a trial period, city leaders should establish processes to support agencies in such collaborations, and more information on project costs should be collected.
Table of Contents
Reducing Gun Violence in Urban Areas
Implementing the Hollenbeck Initiative
Evaluating the Initiative
Implications for Future Adaptations
The research described in this report was conducted by Public Safety and Justice for the National Institute of Justice.
This document replaces the original version in which Tables 3.4-3.9 and 3.11-3.13, all in Chapter Three, were mislabeled. These tables contained the results of the statistical analysis, and, in several cases, the results for gun crimes were mislabeled as results for gang crimes and had other similar mislabeling. To ensure that the right numbers were in the right tables, the authors repeated the analysis, including in the output better signposts to confirm that they would be matched to the correct table. Since the estimation process described on p. 27 involved Monte Carlo simulation, rerunning the analysis did not result in precisely the same numbers as the original report. However, the variation is negligible, with a margin of error of ±0.02. The text discussing the results of the tables has also been edited to be consistent with the revised tables. As a result of reformatting, the pagination of the document does not match the original version.
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