GROUP VIOLENCE REDUCTION STRATEGY
The Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) is designed by criminologist David Kennedy and targets geographic areas of high crime and the groups that commit violent acts. GVRS targets known, chronic, violent adult and juvenile offenders by combining enforcement attention to all violent group members with a genuine offer of help. The objective is to assemble law enforcement, service providers and community members to deliver a strong message to offenders, “stop the shooting,” while also dramatically improving access to social services and the administration of swift and targeted enforcement for those who continue to commit violence.
In New Orleans, GVRS includes three major components:
- Collaborate with respected members of affected communities to deliver a single message to violent groups: stop the shooting.
- Organize and build the capacity of social service providers, clergy and community members so they can provide support and services to those who no longer wish to engage in violent lifestyles.
- Focus enforcement to specifically deter violent behavior and ensure consequences for those who continue to commit violence.
WHY PART OF MURDER REDUCTION STRATEGY
Group and gang violence accounted for more than 100 murders in the year before GVRS. That has been cut by more than half.
Evidence base: An evaluation of the NOLA FOR LIFE Group Violence Reduction Strategy5 by the University of Cincinnati attributed a 32% decrease in group member-involved homicides and a 17% drop in homicides overall to GVRS. National research has demonstrated that cities where GVRS has been implemented have achieved a significant reduction in citywide homicides. This strategy is grounded in empirical analysis that a small percentage of people in violent street groups and gangs drive the majority of violence in troubled neighborhoods.
Risk/protective factors addressed: Involvement in gangs; gun ownership; criminal history; unemployment; deficits in social cognitive or information-processing abilities PERFORMANCE INDICATORS AND RESULTS