Offender Notification Meetings a/k/a, LEVER PULLING SESSIONS
Lever Pulling? We use the levers we have to compel our primary, or target, audience to attend; and We deliver the message that we will use the levers we have, penal and benevolent, to achieve reduced gun crime and homicides.
Where do we start? Partners Law Enforcement and Community, joining together to develop solutions to shared problems---in this case, gun crime and homicides. Pool of dedicated, informed individuals with diverse backgrounds who are willing to develop and implement strategies.
Partners = Resources These are the people who will make your lever pulling sessions happen and succeed These are the people who can convey to your audience that law enforcement, faith based leaders and the community stand together --- deliver the same message: Firearm Crime Will Not Be Tolerated
Law Enforcement Partners Law enforcement agencies buy-in, federal, state & local is essential. Explain The Benefits to Law Enforcement - P artnership focus: A whole criminal justice system response to gun crime - Opportunity to achieve better working relationships with fellow agencies - Communicate a shared message of intolerance to violence=community support
Community Partners - Create buy-in with the community - Actively involved in communicating message of intolerance to violence - Offer services and support to offenders, both social and faith based services - Partners with the law enforcement community, i.e., combined efforts are more effective
8 Questions that Must be Answered to Conduct a Successful Lever Pulling Session 1. Who coordinates the Lever Pulling Meeting? 2. How do you Select an audience? 3. Who are the crucial partners? 4. Where should it be held? 5. What structure should be used for the meeting? 6. Who are the appropriate speakers? 7. What message should be delivered? 8. What are the benefits? ALL ARE SPECIFIC TO THE COMMUNITY
1. Who coordinates the Lever Pulling Meeting? Location specific Options: PSN Coordinators, Probation or other project leaders What is key? - Finding who and what works best - Individuals/leaders who have the ability to get things done
2. Selecting an Audience Methods of selecting probationers/parolees: 1. Geographic based response - Hot spots and mapping - Incident reviews 2. Associate based response - Homicide victims and/or suspects - Aggravated Assault victims and/or suspects 3. Previous similar convictions - Drugs, guns, and violence.
3. Who are the crucial partners for a Lever Pulling Meeting? Judges – they must be informed Probation and Parole Local Police Departments District Attorneys Office & US Attorneys Office Community and Faith Based Partners
4. Selecting a location for a Lever Pulling Meeting? Site/purpose specific Options: - Courts (Informing the judges) - Law enforcement facilities - Community Centers - Schools (youth lever pulling sessions)
5. Selecting a structure for the Lever Pulling Meeting? Audience & Participant specific What is key? - Finding what works - Finding a format that is acceptable to law enforcement and community/faith based organizations - Expect changes and modifications
6. Selecting the Appropriate Speakers Options: Coordinators, Law Enforcement and Community/Faith Based organizations What is key? - Find who and what combination works best - Find individuals who will get the attention of the audience and deliver the message. - The best speakers for a probation/parole audience may not be the typical speakers (agency heads, elected officials), but they could be. - Expect change – different audiences often require different speakers.
7. What message is communicated What is key? Law enforcement and community communicating the same message: - Gun crime will not be tolerated; we will work together - If rules are broken, laws will be enforced - These are the consequences - Here is what happened to some who failed to listen/make the right choices - Law enforcement will protect as well as arrest - Here are services, community resources, to help you make positive choices
Lever Pulling Sessions Are Adaptable They may be focused upon your particular gun crime problem – Drugs – Gangs – Felons in possession – Domestic violence, etc.
Modified Lever Pulling Sessions Educational & Youth Focused – General audience at community events – In-School programs for students (and parents) – At risk youth Alternative school students Neighborhood/Community groups
This is HARD WORK Complex Problem--- R equires a partnership solution - Law enforcement (Federal, State and Local) - Active community support, involvement and open communication Partnership Issues---Time, Trust and patience - It is a new way of doing business – change takes time - Jurisdictional issues, politics, and personalities
HARD WORK, Contd Resource Problem vs. Priority Problem Challenges - This will be an add-on to current duties! - There will always be resource problems, so priorities have to be re-aligned - There must be buy in from the policy makers that this is a priority - There must also be buy in from those who are involved – which comes from seeing the benefit over time Take Advantage of Existing Resources
8. What are the benefits of Lever Pulling Meetings? A. Communicating to an offender population that violence will not be tolerated, and the consequences for actions. B. This is something new and it communicates to the offender population that things are different – deterrence message. C. New partnerships--- between law enforcement agencies, and between law enforcement and the community.
8. Contd, Benefits D. Lever Pulling meetings can be a catalyst to get multi-agency actions started within law enforcement. E. Link offenders to services and support that are needed. F. Begin to be more strategic and proactive in law enforcement efforts – Lever Pulling Meetings can be used both proactively and reactively to reduce the level of violence. G. Sites that have used Lever Pulling meetings have shown statistical evidence in the reduction of homicides.
Do it, evaluate, do it again and re-evaluate – this is a process and not a final product!
The Indianapolis Lever Pulling Experiment In early 2003, lever-pulling in Indianapolis evolved once again when the decision was made by working group members to try another innovative approach to lever-pulling. The traditional type of lever-pulling meeting (the law enforcement/community message) has continued to be used, but also another type of meeting has occurred where probationers only meet with community leaders. The atmosphere and how the message is communicated are different, but importantly the message is consistent: Indianapolis will not tolerate violent criminal activity in our community.
OVERVIEW OF STUDY Indianapolis Long-Term Commitment to Lever Pulling Strategy is Key 1. Two Styles of Meetings: Law Enforcement/Community and Community 2. Working Collaboratively with Researchers to Accurately Assess Effectiveness 3. Experimental Design, Randomly Assigning High-Risk, Violent Probationers to One of Three Groups. 4. Meeting Phase is Completed (12 meetings/6 of each). 5. Survey and Official Data are being Collected