Report of the Safer Newark Council, 2016: A Call to Action

Safer Newark Council Report on Public Safety in Newark: Executive Summary

The Safer Newark Council (SNC) was formed in order to better confront the problem of violence in Newark. Our function is to provide a mechanism for Newark’s civic sectors to support of a coordinated and integrated approach to public safety. We work in close collaboration with the Mayor’s office and the Newark Police Department to bring together a wide range of constituents who engage in the work of public safety, with the goal of creating an integrated, interconnected public safety strategy for the city.

SNC is aware that addressing crime comprehensively requires multi-faceted strategies (beyond mere law enforcement and community-based strategies) that will address the systemic conditions such as poverty andracial and structural inequality of opportunity that yield more crime in some communities than others. SNC’s work is a complement to the national, state and municipal comprehensive strategies that address these causes.

We aim to improve Newark’s ability to obtain and direct strategic resources in ways that will make the City safer for residents, visitors, businesses, students and investors.

An effective public safety strategy must be grounded in data, not hearsay. Therefore, for the last 9 months, the SNC has investigated patterns of crime in Newark going back to 2007. It turns out that large sections of Newark experience little or no crime. For example, as much as 80% of Newark’s public streets experienced no public violent crime in each of these years, and less that one-tenth of the streets in Newark have two or more events in a year. Moreover, when comparing Newark’s crime to other, similar urban centers in New Jersey and nationally, we find that Newark’s overall rate of violent crime falls generally below the average of those other cities, and Newark has notably lower rates of aggravated assault, sexual assault, and burglary. Newark’s rates of carjacking, which rose alarmingly in the late 2000s, have recently been cut by half, and rates of theft and larceny have been slowly falling for a decade.

What sets Newark apart, however, is gun-related crime. Newark’s rates of homicide and robbery fall consistently above the other comparison cities. The devastation from this criminal violence reverberates throughout the City and impacts all residents’ lives. It also distorts outsiders’ perceptions of the City, making it harder for Newark to attract visitors and new businesses.

To create a safer Newark, the SNC will spend the the next year supporting a series of strategic and integrated strategies designed to focus laser-like on reducing homicide and robbery, the most pressing crime problems facing the City. We have already begun the detailed analysis of these crimes that will support the design of evidence-based strategies that promise to significantly affect rates of homicide and robbery.

In its next year, SNC will focus its energy on two priorities in order to reduce violent crime:


1.
To reduce shootings and homicides, especially by reducing retaliatory homicides and the victimization of people returning home from prison. Evidence of murders in Newark show that men commit almost all homicides; almost nine out of ten involve a gun, three-quarters of all homicides involve gangs and disputes over drugs. The average age of those who commit homicides is 26; 90% are African–American, as are the overwhelming majority of the victims. Nearly nine in ten of those who commit homicide have previous criminal justice contact, averaging 9 previous arrests. The highest risk of homicide victimization occurs for men during their first 9 months of reentry from prison. 4% of gang-involved young men account for 40% of the shootings and often these shootings are part of retaliation for earlier violence. Violence also concentrates in particular locations primarily in the South and West Wards; and


2.
To reduce the number of street robberies. Newark has a high number of robberies. However, unlike people arrested for homicide, most young people arrested for robbery have little or no prior record, which is an indication that robbery is the pipeline to more significant criminality. Our goal is to provide intervention and prevention services so that the individuals arrested for robbery do not continue a life of crime and graduate to more violent crime.

There are important, longer-term public safety strategies, but the report clearly guides the immediate response to crime in Newark that will enable us to then tackle the other problems the City faces. The SNC will provide quarterly and yearly reports on and analysis of its progress on the above-mentioned goals.

Newark is an exceptional place. The third oldest incorporated city in America, it has served as an industrial powerhouse and is a major northeastern hub for transportation, education, commerce, and the arts. Newark richly deserves its reputation as New Jersey’s most important intellectual and cultural urban center.

Violence Rate per 100,000 Residents

Table 1 illustrates the central fact of public safety in Newark: while the rate of violence in Newark stands well above the national average, it is at the bottom of the pack when compared to cities similar to Newark. We can also see that for these cities, murder rates are high compared to the rest of the nation, and they fluctuate up and down, but stay too high. This should not be a surprise, since all of these cities are dealing with the kinds of issues that lead to higher crime rates. Indeed, for every one of these cities, as for Newark, persistently high levels of violent crime are perhaps the most vexing public policy problem to be confronted.

The Safer Newark Council (SNC or Council) has been formed to help confront the fact that public safety is still the most pressing core problem facing the city. We recognize that public safety in Newark sets a ceiling on the city’s ability to meet its aspirations. Unless the city is a safe place for its residents, businesses, and visitors, it cannot be the kind of wonderful place its residents deserve to live, raise families, and build satisfying lives, nor can it be the urban center New Jersey needs. Unless it is perceived to be a safe place, it cannot be the engine for commerce that its extensive human and material resources make conceivable. We cannot allow violence or what people perceive about violence in Newark to hold Newark back.

The Safer Newark Council was also created because public safety cannot be seen as solely a problem of law enforcement. Public safety demands a citywide response including community development, partnerships between law enforcement and other services such as education and human services, and above all, effective participation from the private sector, including the businesses of the city and its philanthropic sector. We have formed the Safer Newark Council to provide a mechanism for the civic sectors of the city of Newark to engage with the city’s agenda of safety. The Council exists because making the city safe is not just the job of law enforcement or even that of the city’s elected leadership. Responsibility for safety in Newark rests with everyone who has a stake in Newark’s fortunes and who cares about its future. We believe that the best way to promote a safer Newark is to build a systematic, coordinated, and integrated approach to address specific public safety targets, based upon what we know about crime in Newark.

Newark’s sectors—civic, public, commercial, artistic, and educational—share both an interest in and responsibility for Newark’s safety. The Council will build a public safety partnership between the civic infrastructure of our city and its public servants, including elected officials and law enforcement, and will help fashion a holistic, integrated public safety agenda to address crime in Newark. We will work in close partnership with the city’s elected leadership and its public safety infrastructure, bringing a spirit of public-private collaboration to a defined set of public safety priorities. This is a new tactic in Newark, creating an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to unify around a mission of enhanced and coordinated public safety.

Newark has a wonderful story to tell about its historic past, its vibrant present, and its boundless future. As we celebrate the city’s 350th anniversary, the Council seeks to elevate the pursuit of safety and place it at the forefront of the city’s mission.

We have three main goals:

1. To provide an independent assessment of the current status of public safety in Newark to its citizens;

2. To identify and promote a set of strategic priorities for improving Newark’s public safety citywide; and

3. To create a medium for aligning evidence-based and problem-oriented public safety initiatives with these strategic priorities, making connections between the city’s current array of public and private public safety activity, identifying gaps in that work, and addressing those gaps.

The SNC’s plan is to spend the next four years intensely focusing the city’s various sectors on an integrated public safety strategy, uniting around express goals, and assessing progress toward those goals. We will gather data, propose and promote initiatives, help coordinate current efforts, and give public visibility to the focused agenda of public safety in Newark. Our hope is that in 2020, we will have seen a reduction in violence of at least 20 percent, along with a new sense of public confidence in the city’s safety.

SNC’s First-Year Public Safety Priorities for Newark

The Council’s review of the most recent data regarding public safety in Newark points to two immediate public safety priorities. The Council will focus on these two priorities during its first year, going forward until we see meaningful progress on them.

1. To reduce shootings and homicides. Shootings and homicides are the city’s leading public safety indicator. Newark has too many shootings; too many lives are cut short from homicide; guns are too prevalent; too many families are traumatized by violence. The city’s highest priority will be to adopt a series of integrated strategies that focus on reducing gun-related violence, especially by reducing retaliation homicides and the victimization of people who are in their first year of release from incarceration.

2. To reduce the number of street robberies. Newark stands out in its number of robberies. Robberies stoke fear, erode public confidence, and undermine the value of public space. Creation of an informed, systematic intervention to reduce robberies will change the way it feels to be on the streets of Newark.

These two crime priorities—gun violence and street robbery—will be the anchoring aims of an integrated public safety strategy to make Newark be safer and feel safer. Currently, evidence suggests that these two kinds of crime, while they have similar effects on public safety, have different causes and are committed by different perpetrators. Addressing these priorities will require separate, parallel analyses and strategic action. The focus of action for these two types of crime must necessarily be short-term with an aim of immediate results.

In the analysis below, we provide a rationale for these priorities and a framework for addressing them. Yet we must always remind ourselves that Newark is not an outlier in its problems of safety, compared to other urban areas. In fact, when it comes to many types of crime, Newark is actually similar to or better off than many of its peers. Our review of all types of major crime in Newark over the last eight years revealed that:

• Newark consistently has among the lowest rates of aggravated assault, when compared to cities in New Jersey and nationally.

• Newark’s rates of burglary are consistently at or near the bottom for comparison cities in New Jersey and nationally.

• Rates of theft and larceny in New Jersey’s cities do not vary much from one place to another, and they have been slowly falling for a decade.

• Rates of carjacking, which rose alarmingly in the late 2000s have recently been cut by half, and are now back to previous levels.

• Juveniles are not a primary source of crime in Newark—they have never been more than 4 percent of all arrests in any recent year.

• Sexual assault rates in Newark are consistently below the average for our comparison cities.

It is worth emphasizing what the statistics tell us. Despite what many people may think, Newark is in no way an urban “war zone.” On most measures of crime, in fact, Newark falls below comparison cities in New Jersey and the United States. This is good news that deserves a broader telling. Yet even if Newark compares well to other places on many crime dimensions, it would be wrong to conclude that Newark faces no distinct public safety challenges. There are crucial challenges facing the city, and we begin with the two most important: murder and robbery.

Murder in Newark

Recent studies of murders in Newark show that men commit almost all homicides; almost nine out of 10 involve a gun. Three-quarters of all homicides involve group or gang members as a victim or a suspect. The majority of these incidents involve disputes, either personal or over drugs. The average age of those who commit homicide is 26; 90 percent are African American, as are the overwhelming majority of the victims. Nearly nine in 10 of those who commit homicide have previous criminal justice contact, averaging nine previous arrests. The highest risk of homicide victimization occurs for men during their first nine months of reentry from a jail or prison stay of 30 days or more.  Only about 4% of the city’s population is involved in a group or gang; however, these individuals are involved in over 60% of the homicides and nonfatal shootings each year.

This portrait of gun violence in Newark points to the importance of the problem of “gangs”. Yet there is a lot of misinformation about “gangs” and gang structure in Newark. In Newark, many young men ascribe to a group affiliation, and some display public markers of that affiliation. But in fact, there is remarkable fluidity across these groups, with continuing close relationships maintained by people who have different group affiliations. The traditional idea of gun violence stemming from conflict between gangs is less common than the public believes; indeed, a very small proportion of homicides in Newark each year are identified as gang motivated.

Table 2 shows rates of murder for Newark and four other comparison cities in New Jersey: Camden, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton. Again we see that Newark’s rates of this crime are high, but not the highest, for these cities. (Camden, which had a staggering increase in its crimes during this period, has returned to its earlier levels.) What do we know about these murders?

If the leading indicator of safety in Newark is homicide, then clearly Newark cannot make progress on safety without addressing and confronting the problem of groups of men, mostly in their 20s, who are responsible for the violence. The data we have cited provides a fertile starting place for an integrated, focused strategy to reduce gun-related violence. We can organize Newark’s public and private resources to prevent dispute-related violence, especially retaliatory violence. We can invest resources in reentry to avert violence against people returning to our community from prison.

Robbery in Newark

Robbery is an important indicator, in part because of the way being a victim of a robbery produces a permeating sense of being unsafe. Unlike murder, where those who commit the crime often know their victim, many, perhaps most, robberies involve strangers. This has enormous implications for perceptions of safety: a place that has a high rate of robberies feels very unsafe all the time.

The second most important crime-related public safety priority facing Newark is robbery. Table 3 shows the rate of robbery in Newark, compared to other cities in New Jersey. It shows that Newark has a consistently growing rate of robbery, now as high as any of the state’s major cities.

We need to know a great deal more than we do about the contours of robbery in Newark. For example, even though we know that juveniles are less than one twenty-fifth of arrests in Newark, when a juvenile is arrested for a serious crime, the most common charge is robbery. Unlike people arrested for homicide, most young people arrested for robbery have little or no prior record. This is an indication that robbery is the pipeline to more significant criminality. Bringing the number of robberies down would make Newark safer and make Newark feel safer.

The core facts that can serve as a foundation for a robbery-reduction strategy are apparent: most robberies are committed by young people, generally in very small groups, who have limited prior criminal justice contact but are at risk of deeper penetration into serious and violent crime. Intensive, focused interventions that immediately follow robbery arrests are a promising way to interrupt the pathway to greater violence.

The Spatial Concentration of Murder and Robbery

As a final point, we must emphasize that any strategy to prevent gun violence and robbery in Newark will have to take account of the basic fact that crime does not spread evenly across the geography of Newark. It concentrates in particular locations. The actual place where a crime concentrates depends, of course, on the crime.

Map 1: Geographic Distribution of 2014-2015 Homicide Hot Spots
Maps 1 and 2 show the geographic distribution of homicide and robbery, respectively, across the geography of the city. It can be readily seen that while there are a few locations where both kinds of crimes are high, there are many more places where neither crime is significant, just as there are places where one crime dominates but the other is not important. The maps also show that some parts of Newark—notably in the south and the west, contain concentrated areas of both types of crime.
Map 2: Geographic Distribution of 2014-2015 Robbery Hot Spots

The geographic concentration of gun violence is important, because recent, promising innovations in policing have emphasized the value of strategies that focus law enforcement resources on particular locations. These are areas that suffer from the trauma of generations of racism, decades of disinvestment and neglect, and long-standing erosion of social and physical infrastructure. Promoting greater safety in these parts of Newark must be seen as the essential underpinning of any reasonable agenda for their improvement.

The Status of Public Safety in Newark

What do we learn from this review? Even while we acknowledge the urgency of a public safety agenda in Newark, we still see that our city is not exceptional among its peers in New Jersey and the United States. We do indeed have issues of crime, in particular violent crime, but these problems mirror those of our local and national peers. This cannot surprise us. Over the years, public commissions and privately established independent observers have noted the nexus between crime and the deeply embedded social problems of inequality, poverty, and despair that are too common in our cities.

For this reason, the Council is focused on the longer-term goal of great safety in Newark. This long view includes an integrated public safety strategy that is holistic and systemic, with dedication to a shared agenda that has public safety as the central goal and interconnected action as the steadfast method.

Thus, for the first year, the Council will focus on the two priorities detailed above: reducing homicides and street robberies. We believe these two issues are the most important and pressing priorities to confront in order to have an immediate impact on both the nature of and experience of public safety in Newark. The Council will receive regular reports updating them on the strategies and progress towards those goals. Our aim is a 20% reduction in violent crimes by 2020.

Longer-term Public Safety Priorities

Once the two priorities of shootings and robberies are being effectively addressed, the Council will turn its attention to three longer-term investments that need to be made in Newark to increase public safety in the longer term: law enforcement capacity; opportunity youth; and public perceptions of safety.

Law Enforcement Capacity

Newark has numerous law enforcement agencies serving the community: federal, state, county, city, educational, transit, and commercial. These agencies have a history of cordial relations and cooperative practices, especially when emergencies arise. Through the Council’s working group, we expect to deepen that cooperative spirit and extend it beyond the law enforcement community to include other groups tackling public safety such as service providers.

The key law enforcement agency is the Newark Police Department (NPD). Their capacity for public safety services has been significantly affected by fiscal and managerial changes. Since 2010, when 167 police officers were laid off due to Newark’s fiscal crisis, almost 400 Newark police officers have retired, been laid off or left for other reasons or causes. Only 90 new police officers have been appointed to replace them. The net impact on the Newark Police Department has been nearly a one-fourth reduction in uniformed officers available for assignment, with the result that the NPD has one of the lowest staffing levels, relative to crime, in the nation.

This quasi-permanent reduction in uniformed capacity has important implications for the NPD’s capacity to participate strategically in addressing the public safety priorities we have identified. Basic patrol of Newark’s 26 square miles fully occupies the assignment of a certain minimum number of the city’s 920 uniformed police. After these police resources are allocated to provide basic patrol functions, there is extremely limited residual capacity for the strategic kinds of assignments such as community policing and innovative practices that we know are the key to big impacts on pressing public safety problems.

Remarkably, in the face of these resource challenges, the NPD has been able to operate a number of specialized units charged with strategic public safety work in particular areas. These range from the Newark Violence Reduction Initiative unit, focused on gangs and guns, to the Call Out Program for Youth, a diversion program for first-time juvenile arrestees. Specialized police units have removed almost 200 guns from the streets, provided for enhanced police presence in areas with higher crime rates, and improved response to violent crimes. In the face of the extreme resource pressures, the NPD is to be congratulated for the degree to which it has become more strategic in its policing. One of the secrets has been a broad willingness on the part of NPD leadership to partner with other agencies to carry out this work. But in the long term, the capacity of NPD to make specialized and intelligence-based policing the norm for this city is dependent upon increasing the number of sworn officers.

We also want to note that the department’s consent decree with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) offers an unprecedented opportunity to address some of the issues facing the NPD. The issues range from the need for upgraded training for line staff and leadership alike to the integration of problem-solving police methods and community engagement police philosophy in the department from top to bottom. With the support of the US DOJ, and in the face of the possibilities created by new investments in the city’s policing, the Council is optimistic that Newark is poised to see the emergence of the kinds of policing reforms that will give the city the police services it needs and deserves.

Opportunity Youth

At the very core of Newark’s untapped capacity are the large numbers of teenagers and young men, who have no positive connection to the city’s socioeconomic infrastructure. It has been estimated that Newark has more than 4,000 youth who have become disconnected from their communities. These youth may have dropped out of school and been unable to find work; may have been involved in the criminal justice system; may have mental or health conditions that have inhibited their activities; or may have care-giving responsibilities in their families that keep them out of the world of work. These youth are less likely to be employed and more likely to rely on government supports. They report poorer health status and are more likely to be involved in criminal activity. This has costly social and economic implications for Newark. They are called “opportunity youth,” because investments in their future represent untold opportunities for advancement of Newark’s interests.

Reengaging opportunity youth will not only reduce the problems represented by disconnected young people, but will also create new sources of energy for longer-term growth. One key mediator is education. As such, there is a growing movement in Newark to address opportunity youth, most notably, the Newark Opportunity Youth Network and the Newark Street Academy, which will provide educational support services to the city’s most vulnerable young people. There is a need for community organizations to build capacity to offer the educational, social, and emotional services and support to opportunity youth.

Perceptions of Public Safety in Newark

It may seem like a radical thing to say, but in terms of its public life, Newark is an extremely safe place. Much of Newark experiences little or no crime, and large swaths of the geography of Newark are typically without serious criminal events. Table 4 shows the frequency of violent criminal events on individual street segments in Newark, over the last eight years. (A street segment is defined as one block, between two cross streets.)

There are 7,590 street segments in Newark. In every year for which we have data, well over 80 percent of them experience no violence events in the public space. Places that have such an event rarely have a second one; less than 8 percent of the street segments in Newark have two or more events in a year. Of course, a violent, criminal event is traumatic, even if there is only one—the significance of violence should never be underestimated. But it is equally important to note that these events are far from prevalent, and the preponderance of Newark does not experience this type of crime.

Table 4: Rates Violence on Newark Street Segments

Given that crime and violence are so concentrated—and are particularly unlikely in most of the city—it is remarkable that Newark has such a negative public image in regards to safety. Dealing with perceptions of risk, then, is not primarily a problem of levels of actual risk, but is rather a problem of overcoming, or overturning, a strongly ingrained sense that Newark is unsafe.

There are several different vantage points for perceptions of safety in Newark. They provide ways of understanding what people think about Newark’s safety. They also represent the different constituencies we must consider when we think about perceptions of safety in Newark. For each group, the factors that contribute to perceptions are different and the consequences are different.

Newark’s residents:

People who live in Newark develop perceptions based on the events that go on around them. Some areas have low volumes of crime, such as the downtown and the areas surrounding our universities. Residents who live there feel differently than those who live in places where gunfire and robbery are common. Among the latter group, almost everyone has a personal story of a direct experience of some public safety problem that has a lasting effect on that person’s perceptions of safety. Among those who live in Newark’s residential areas, perceptions are also significantly affected by the physical space: disorder, vacant and unused lots, youth groups on the streets, and so forth.

People who make trips to Newark for work, for study, or for cultural activities:

Newark has a world-class transit infrastructure with notable institutions that attract employees, students, and visitors. In general, people who come into Newark develop perceptions based primarily on public media and secondarily on direct experience. The public media cover extreme events, such as shootings with innocent victims, and this publicity shapes peoples’ expectations, influencing their willingness to visit Newark’s businesses and stay for Newark’s cultural events. Unusual incidents also become “lore” when they become the topic of conversation among people in these groups. So while direct experience of safety-related problems is relatively rare, the secondary experience of these events through people and media is powerful.

Newark’s business community, especially Newark investors:

People who seek to make investments in Newark perceive safety through the lens of its impact on possibilities for economic growth. For them, the actual nature of public safety may be less significant than public perceptions of it. When they see public evidence of investments in safety, it creates a foundation of confidence that business investments will succeed.

For all of these key Newark constituents, we need to understand better what shapes their perception of safety in Newark—what makes them feel unsafe? This will help us identify the link between the city’s public safety image and issues such as maintenance of entrance points to the city, illegal dumping, abandoned properties, and so forth. We will also need to know how civic leadership can help strengthen Newark’s “rumor control” capacity among downtown workers, visitors, and residents throughout the city. A fully articulated strategy for public safety in Newark will be concerned about perception of safety as well as the nature and rate of actual incidents that violate public safety.

In short, we must become much more effective at telling our story. This is more than mere public messaging, though certainly the way Newark is portrayed in public media matters. Newark suffers from a problematic public image. The actual facts related to public safety are better than Newark’s public reputation. That image is wrong in many ways, incomplete in many other ways. An intentional, tactical approach to changing the general perception of Newark is a central part of its agenda of public safety.

Public Safety Priorities: A Call to Action

There is no shortage of concern about safety in Newark, and no shortage of dedicated people, public and private, who have sought to mount approaches to combat Newark’s most significant problems. All of the current work has been well intentioned, and much of it has been carefully thought out. But with no meaningful exceptions, the public safety activity in Newark has been historically operated within silos. Police do what they do; services work with their clients; corporations and universities police their properties; citizens take their own personal precautions. A sustained, integrated, holistic public safety approach is needed. That is the charge of the Safer Newark Council.

Because Newark’s resources for public safety are limited, we must build a strategic vision for public safety that uses these resources with strategic wisdom. As we have shown, this is particularly true for the uniformed police force. Yet the pressure on public safety resources for law enforcement is also true for other public safety capacity in other areas. Sources of private funding are taxed to their limit, and face routine requests for new initiatives that make sense but too often lack a strong evidence base. Too often, new programs are put into place without connecting to existing strategies, often taking place in the same geographic space. Synergies and strategic advantages are missed that a holistic agenda for public safety might promote.

Under a new model, programs that are now taking place must connect to one another, not compete with one another. Newark should substantially improve its ability to obtain resources to support its public safety agenda, with greater effectiveness in obtaining federal funds, creative leveraging of private funds, and new funding ideas. But new programs need to build on the foundation that has been so painstakingly created by existing work. There must be a vision for action, and a way to direct action strategically in alignment with that vision. New proposals for action must address the city’s key priorities, they must connect to existing initiatives, and they must be evaluated. All the city’s stakeholders need to be a part of this work. Anchor institutions must do their part to contribute to the agenda; service providers must redirect their work to join these priorities and connect to the system of strategies; citizens must feel a sense of involvement and hope. And the city must be a partner—a leading partner—in the overall agenda. In the end, however, solely putting this work at the doorstep of the city and its employees cannot succeed. That is why the Safer Newark Council was created: to engage the city at large in improving public safety in Newark. The Safer Newark Council looks forward to a citywide partnership to reduce violence in Newark over the next four years.

The Safer Newark Council has been established as a vehicle for this new way of approaching public safety in Newark. We hold out an ideal for a new way of taking on the problem of public safety in Newark: employing a laser-like focus on our most pressing priorities, embracing accountability for the use of evidence to guide our actions and to evaluate our results, and a commitment to partnerships across sectors, public and private, to share responsibility for a safer Newark.

Appendix:
Safer Newark Council Working Priorities, 2016

During the coming year, the SNC operational team will be working on three goals that come directly from the Mayor’s Retreat on Public Safety and the Report of the SNC. The two main priorities are homicides and robberies. We know that the people who engage on these crimes have very different profiles.

People who are involved in homicides

• Have long criminal histories
• Are gang members
• Are engaged in disputes that lead to violence
• Come dominantly from recent releases from prison or jail
• Are older—late 20s early 30s
• Are deeply involved in networks of primarily gang-involved individuals

People who are involved in robbery

• Are being arrested for the first or second time
• Are younger—teens and 20s
• Carry out robberies in heavily concentrated areas

As a first priority, we will deepen our knowledge of robbery. We have already begun an extensive problem-oriented crime analysis of robberies with an eye to developing intervention points that can provide rapid success in reducing the numbers.

As a second priority, we have begun to put into place integrated strategies to address homicide and robbery in
specialized ways.

The term “integrated” means connecting the three crucial capacities into coordinated, evidence-based strategies:

• Law enforcement unit that gathers and acts on “intelligence” with immediate response capacity and long-term planning capacity

• Specialized social services capacity with dedicated portfolio and ability to quickly activate services as needed

• On-the-ground capacity to identify problems early, bring law enforcement or social services into the picture strategically, and motivate high priority individuals for desistence and services (Street Teams)

In the coming months, we will approach the need to build out strategies toward three specific goals:

1. Reduce second-step (retaliation) homicides by 50% within a year

Strategy: develop protocol for debriefing homicides and shootings, contacting people who are affected by a homicide or shooting coordinated set of assignments based on that intelligence, have street-level capacity to interrupt disputes

2. Reduce homicide victimizations of people in reentry by one-third within a year

Strategy: assess risk of victimization; identify high risk individuals; meet with them to provide special support, including mentors; intensive case management with rarity access to transitional jobs and other services

3. Reduce recidivism of people who engage in robbery to less than 20% within the year
Strategy: develop a specialized unit of social services to create strong and integrated case plans for people who are arrested for robbery; develop systemic response for each person arrested; bring to scale COPY for juveniles and a modified version for adults;

We have already started building out these three strategies in close coordination with the city. Moving forward, we have two main managerial strategies. There is a weekly meeting of the operational team that keeps the process on track for all of these strategies, putting infrastructure in place. We also have semi-monthly meetings of a larger working group to build out the coordination of these strategies and create interconnections among the moving parts.

In the coming months, we will report on progress in three ways. First, we will describe the steps that are being taken to put these strategies in place. Second, we will report on interim goals in these strategies: number of people contacted; number of people receiving services, and so forth. Third, we will report on our bottom line measures of performance: changes in rates of homicides and robbery.