- Program Type: Suppression
- Ages: 15-21
- Effectiveness: Effective gang program; Effective adult program (Read the criteria for this rating)
The Group Violence Intervention is designed to reduce street-group involved violence and homicide. A partnership of law enforcement, community members, and social service providers directly engages the small and active number of people involved in violent street groups and delivers a credible moral message against violence, prior notice about the consequences of further violence, and a genuine offer of help for those who want it. This face-to-face meeting between group members and the strategy’s partners is a central method of communication.
Originally known as Boston "Operation Ceasefire,” the program was responsible for a 63 percent reduction in youth homicide victimization and has since been effectively implemented as the Group Violence Intervention (GVI). The typical impact is a 35 to 60 percent reduction in community-wide levels of homicides and a significant but sometimes lesser reduction in nonfatal shootings citywide (http://nnscommunities.org/our-work/faqs#7).
Replications of the Boston strategy demonstrated evidence of effectiveness in reducing serious violence generated by street gangs or criminally active street groups in Cincinnati, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; Lowell, MA; and Stockton, CA (Braga & Wesiburd, 2012)
Exposure to firearm violence
Gang involvement in adolescence
General delinquency involvement
High alcohol/drug use
High drug dealing
Illegal gun ownership/carrying
Mental health problems
Violence at age 13
Availability and use of drugs in the neighborhood
Availability of firearms
Feeling unsafe in the neighborhood
Neighborhood physical disorder
Neighborhood youth in trouble
Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
Association with gang-involved peers/relatives
Peer alcohol/drug use
Effective program: CrimeSolutions.gov, National Gang Center
David M. Kennedy
National Network for Safe Communities
Phone: (212) 484-1323
E-mail: [email protected]
Braga, A. A., and Hureau, D. M. (2012). Strategic problem analysis to guide comprehensive gang violence reduction strategies. In E. Gebo & B. J. Bond (Eds.), Beyond suppression: Community strategies to reduce gang violence (pp. 129–151). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Braga, A. A., Papachristos, A. V., & Hureau, D. M. (2012). The effects of hot spots policing on crime: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Justice Quarterly, iFirst:1–31.
Braga, A. A., and Weisburd, D. L. (2012). The effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the empirical evidence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49, 323–358.
National Network for Safe Communities. (2013). Group Violence Intervention: An Implementation Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. National Network for Safe Communities: http://nnscommunities.org
Braga, A. A. (2015). Police Gang Units and Effective Gang Violence Reduction. In S. Decker & D. C. Pyrooz (Eds.) The Wiley Handbook of Gangs (pp. 309-327). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Braga, A. A., & Hureau, D. M. (2012). Strategic problem analysis to guide comprehensive gang violence reduction strategies. In E. Gebo and B.J. Bond (Eds.). Beyond suppression: Community strategies to reduce gang violence (pp. 129-151). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Braga, A. A. and Weisburd, D. L. (2012). The effects of focused deterrence strategies on crime: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the empirical evidence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 49, 323–358.
Braga, A. A., & Weisburd, D. L. (2015). Focused deterrence and the prevention of violent gun injuries: practice, theoretical principles, and scientific evidence. Annual Review of Public Health, 36, 55-68.
McGarrell, E.F., Chermak S., Wilson, J.M., & N. Corsaro (2006). “Reducing homicide through a ‘lever-pulling’ strategy.” Justice Quarterly, 23, 214–31.
Wellford, C. F., J. V. Pepper, and C. V. Petrie, eds. (2005). “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review.” Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.