The strategic prevention of gun violence among gang-involved offenders
Publication: Justice Quarterly
Topics: Crime Ethnicity Homicide Law Enforcement Local
Keywords: Deterrence Techniques Gang Gang Violence Intervention Strategy Policing strategies
Bibliographic information +
“Pulling levers” policing strategies to reduce gang violence, and gang-related gun violence in particular, are increasingly common. This paper evaluates the effect of an intervention that employed “pulling levers” deterrence techniques on violence-involved gangs in Lowell, MA. “Strategic problem analysis” of gang-related gun violence in Lowell suggested that different intervention strategies would be required for the city’s Hispanic and Asian gangs. Strategies targeted at Hispanic gangs focused on disrupting the activities of the youth gangs themselves (e.g., violating the parole of gang members, arresting gang members on outstanding warrants, disrupting local drug markets, etc.), while strategies targeted at Asian gangs involved disrupting the gambling operations run by older, non-violent, Asian gang members. Key components of the intervention involved: 1) immediate and certain police response following all violent gun incidents; 2) “advertising” by the police gang members and the community that all violent incidents would result in similar response and 3) mobilization of community service agencies to provide needed services to gang-members. Using a pre-post design, the authors found that total gun related assaults, as well as gun homicides, fell following the intervention (from an average of 5.4 per month prior to the intervention to an average of 3.9 per month following the intervention).
Braga, A. A., Pierce, G. L., McDevitt, J., Bond, B. J., & Cronin, S. (2008). The strategic prevention of gun violence among gang-involved offenders. Justice Quarterly, 25(1), 132-162.
Braga, A. A., et al. "The Strategic Prevention of Gun Violence among Gang-Involved Offenders." Justice Quarterly 25.1 (2008): 132-62.