Police and other city agencies in High Point, N.C., are applying the concept of “focused deterrence” to domestic violence, trying to replicate the successes of Operation Ceasefire in reducing gang and gun violence there. Early data indicates it is working, reports Indy Week. “What’s happening in High Point is the most exciting and effective approach in responding to domestic violence I’ve ever seen,” said Susan Herman, former director for the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington, D.C.
The city’s new Offender-Focused Domestic Violence Initiative is based in part on the research of David M. Kennedy, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor who was a lead architect of Operation Ceasefire. As with that program, domestic violence offenders have been subjected to “call-ins” where they are confronted by police, members of the clergy and others. Through October, 948 domestic violence offenders in High Point have been given a deterrence message through call-ins, jail visits and hand-delivered letters. Of that group, 73 have reoffended— a 7.7 recidivism rate. Research suggests between 24 and 60 percent of first-time domestic offenders recidivate within two years.