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Innovative Strategies Jack McDevitt Institute on Race and Justice College of Criminal Justice Northeastern University.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovative Strategies Jack McDevitt Institute on Race and Justice College of Criminal Justice Northeastern University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovative Strategies Jack McDevitt Institute on Race and Justice College of Criminal Justice Northeastern University

2 New approaches to defining high risk offenders Most high risk offender lists are developed from criminal history information (e.g. more than 3 prior gun arrests) This methodology has a number of limitations –Based only on crimes known to police –Little information on positive steps offenders have taken to improve their lives

3 Implications Current lists may miss some individuals who are currently causing problems in the community but have not been arrested or arrested a sufficient number of times Current lists may include individuals who have made mistakes in the past but are now are in the process of improving their lives

4 Costs Community can become frustrated with law enforcement if they see enforcement efforts being directed at the “wrong” individuals Community may support enforcement efforts more strongly when they see these efforts being directed at the “right” individuals

5 Solutions Add additional information on an individual’s efforts to change his or her life Sources –Probation Records –Probation and Parole Officers –Treatment Records –Street Workers –Community Police Officers

6 Solutions Efforts to reach those “high risk individuals” who have not yet reached the threshold of the Career Criminal Need to include street intelligence Sources –Local Community Police Officers –Probation or Parole Officers –Community members

7 Alternative approaches to defining high risk offenders Boston has developed an approach that adds the notion of high risk families to supplement the list of high risk offenders

8 The Boston Comprehensive Community Safety Initiative 457 individuals identified Reviewed all individuals arrested or FIOed in the area in the previous two years Had generated 11,685 arraignments 72% have been involved with at least one other state agency in addition to police/courts Represent 2.4% of the Grove Hall neighborhood’s population (of 19,100)

9 4 generations, 36 known individuals 200+ arraignments (adult & juvenile) Founders of the MIC street gang Charges include: accessory to murder, shootings, heroin & cocaine trafficking, home invasions & carjacking The Smith Family

10 Implications for Policy Some families are facing multiple problems in multiple areas such as crime, health, social services, housing Multiple stressors on these families but also multiple levers to work with the family Boston Police identified only a small number of the 457 individuals originally identified needed criminal justice attention exclusively The vast majority need some forms of prevention programming Boston Police have involved clinical social workers to work with these families

11 Implications for Policy In a few cases most of the family members are involved in gangs and crime When entire families are involved with crime, efforts to deal with individual family members are complicated

12 Identifying high risk offender locations Grove Hall Section of Boston a number of “impact players” have been causing trouble in this neighborhood even though they have outstanding cases and have been served with warrants While awaiting trial or upon release from prison a large number of these individuals lived in a small number of multi-unit apartment buildings

13 Grove Hall Initiative A partnership of Boston Police, the Attorney General, and local community groups developed a strategy to deal with this problem They approached the managers and private security firms that worked in these units and asked them to develop a partnership to deal with this problem.

14 Problem Identified Lack of communication –Security companies did not know who had been served with warrants –Boston police did not know about a relatively large number of criminal incidents that had been investigated by security companies (many involving these individuals) but not reported to police

15 Implications Many communities have identified new ways to deal with those who are causing the most gun violence in our neighborhoods These efforts may involve developing new ways to identify the highest risk offenders They may also involve new strategies to deter those individuals at risk for becoming involved with gun crime The community can play a role in helping law enforcement meet these challenges

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