Washington, D.C. — A new issue brief released today by the Center for American Progress highlights how three Democrat-led cities—Houston, Boston, and Newark, New Jersey—have seen promising trends in slowing the rise in violent crime rates after implementing community-driven public safety programs. The brief highlights programs that integrate community input and health-focused innovations as key to preventing crime before it happens—rather than focusing solely on mass incarceration and other so-called tough-on-crime policies. The authors’ findings further support evidence that weak gun laws—not progressive crime prevention efforts—are fueling violent crime.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities. To curb violent crime without perpetuating the harms of community disinvestment, over-policing, and racial and economic inequities, it’s critical to use all tools at our disposal to ensure public safety,” said Rachael Eisenberg, senior director of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP and co-author of the brief. “Leaders across the country should learn from these cities’ crime reduction initiatives and the ways in which coordinated interventions can stop the violence.”
Specifically, the brief outlines crime reduction measures these progressive cities’ are utilizing to combat rising crime rates, including:
- The One Safe Houston initiative aims to improve public safety through programs that address the health-related, social, and behavioral factors driving violent crime. Just five months after implementation, the city saw declines in all four major categories of violent crime.
- Boston’s summer safety plan invests in employment and development opportunities for underserved youth and aims to strengthen community ties. In 2021, the city saw a 15 percent decrease in violent crime and a 13 percent decrease in property crime.
- Newark’s “ecosystem” approach relies on the partnership of government and community stakeholders who work to address the range of factors that lead to crime. In 2019, Newark’s homicide rate was the lowest it has been since 1961, and the city has experienced violent crime increases well below the national average throughout the pandemic.
Click here to read: “Continuing Efforts To Slow Violent Crime: Promising Innovations From 3 Democrat-Led Cities” by Rachael Eisenberg and Allie Preston
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