Cincinnati leaders are discussing details of an Initiative to Reduce Violence that targets gangs and groups blamed for violent crimes, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The initiative is based on Boston’s “Operation Cease-Fire,” which helped cut violent crime during the mid-1990s. Police identify the violent groups, and with the help of probation and parole departments, bring in group leaders and warn that if anyone commits a violent crime, the police will come after the entire group for any parole or other violations. In Boston, authorities used the threat of federal prosecution and severe jail time to deter the violence.
The city may hire David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who helped oversee the Boston plan while he was at Harvard, as a consultant. Kennedy’s research shows that a relatively few members of organized gangs or groups commit most of the violence. “The data shows most violence is not due to drug deals gone awry,” says Dr. Victor Garcia, director of Trauma Services at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. “It is group violence, usually the result of disrespect or grudges.” Cincinnati would adopt the Boston model to its own needs.