Citizens Crime Commission of New York City

A non-partisan non-profit organization working to make criminal justice
and public safety policies and practices more effective through innovation,
research, and education.

Gang and Group Violence Prevention

The Crime Commission was founded on the belief that crime, and the social and economic costs it engenders, seriously damages the quality of life in New York City. By helping to reduce crime and by improving the criminal justice system, we can make New York City a better place for everyone to live and work.

New York City continues to experience unprecedented sustained reductions in crime, but not all communities have benefited, as some communities still experience significant levels of crime and violence. The New York City Council Gun Violence Task Force reports that 44% of shooting incidents occur in just 11 police precincts and violence is concentrated among youth ages 14 to 24 [GVTF]. Further, the NYPD reports that "crews" (loosely affiliated groups of youth) are responsible for approximately 30% of shootings incidents [NYPD].

To effectively prevent gang and group violence we must understand the drivers of violence and develop long-term solutions that provide appropriate services for youth in these communities.

Since 2012, The New York Community Trust has awarded grants to the Crime Commission to enhance the coordination of gang and group violence prevention efforts across New York City.

Building upon its historic mission, the Crime Commission is seeking to develop long-term solutions that address neighborhood-level crime problems by addressing the question of how government, law enforcement, criminal justice, and community-based programs can work more effectively to prevent gang and group violence.

The Crime Commission is conducting an analysis of the drivers of gang and group violence and prevention strategies in six communities within New York City. Our analysis includes conducting literature reviews, policy research and data analysis; fieldwork; and convening informal stakeholder discussions. We are exploring the drivers of violence, service needs, criminal activity, and city, state, and federal policies.

The Crime Commission's initial findings from this analysis are published in a series of papers titled, "Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews."

By conducting an in-depth analysis, the Crime Commission hopes to provide a thorough understanding of the scope of the problem, the challenges practitioners face, and best practices to prevent gang and group violence in these New York City communities. In an effort to broaden the understanding of both policy-makers/decision-makers and practitioners, the commission is facilitating a stakeholder work group, and convening forums for community organizations, selected by The Trust, to provide opportunities for shared learning and capacity building. From these discussions, the Crime Commission aims to unveil policies and practices that will further benefit and build upon effective efforts, as well as gain a deeper understanding of what systemic structures contribute to the gang and group violence phenomena.

One of the underlying goals of the commission's analysis and education efforts is to enhance coordination of gang and group violence prevention efforts across the city. There is a role in violence prevention for all community members and stakeholders including: non-profit organizations, local volunteer and neighborhood groups, education, housing, health and human services providers, faith-based groups, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, residents, and businesses. To devise sustainable solutions to address this problem the Crime Commission is working to build trust, facilitate a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources, broaden the understanding about the policies and interventions that impact communities, and develop lasting partnerships. This approach often involves "silo busting"—the process of working across outmoded or counterproductive organizational barriers to achieve successful results. We are working to break down both internal and external "silos", by facilitating partnerships among the selected community organizations and other service and government agencies, and by assisting the community organizations review their internal processes.

Media & Resources
» see Resources related to this Initiative

» Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence
Crisis: Crews

» E-Responder Evaluation: Interruption Toolkit

» E-Responder Evaluation: Youth Leadership
Program Results

» E-Responder Evaluation: Cultivating Resilience
and Sociopolitical Empowerment (2017)

» Social Media Impacts Behavior & Norms report
» Social Media & Real World Consequences Vol 1
» Social Media & Real World Consequences Vol 2
» Social Media as an Opportunity for Service
» Sustaining Crime Reductions in NYC
» When Your Best Friend is Murdered: Experiences
of Grief and Trauma with Crew-Involved Youth

» Download tools for educating youth on responsible
social media use and healthy online practices

» Predictive Prevention Lab

NYC Youth Violence Statistics
#1 = Homicide by firearm is the leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds in NYC [DOHMH]

> 1,000 = number of shooting incidents that occur in NYC annually [GVTF]

30% = percentage of shooting incidents carried out by "crews" (loosely affiliated groups of youth) in NYC [NYPD]

44% = percentage of total shooting incidents occurring in only 11 NYC police precincts [GVTF]

57% = percentage of homicides committed with firearms in NYC [NYPD-Murder]

65% = percentage of murder victims who were between the ages of 16 and 37 in NYC [NYPD-Murder]

160,000 = number of 18 to 24 year olds not attending school, not working, and with no degree beyond high school in NYC [Kids Count-NY]

The Crime Commission is committed to empowering communities to effectively combat gang and group violence and turn the best ideas into real action. Working together, we can keep all New Yorkers safe.

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