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Violent Crime Working Group

Violent crime, particularly homicide, rose rapidly in cities across the nation beginning early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports from the Council found a 30% surge in murders in 2020 compared to the previous year, and a 16% increase for the first half of 2021.

The rise in violence prompted policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government to redouble their search for solutions. In July 2021, CCJ responded by launching the Violent Crime Working Group. Composed of a diverse range of leaders representing community organizations, law enforcement, the public health sector, and academia, the Working Group dedicated itself to saving lives by producing anti-violence guidance that is timely, relevant, and reliable.

In its final report, the Group identified Ten Essential Actions that cities can take now to reduce community gun violence. The list highlights short-term measures that members believe are most likely to make the greatest immediate impact on violence. But Group members cautioned that these actions are not a substitute for longer-term strategies and investments that can address poverty, inequality, racism, and other underlying systemic causes of crime and violence.

Multiple jurisdictions have used the Ten Essential Actions as a framework for their violence reduction efforts. And in December 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice released a “Violent Crime Reduction Roadmap” based explicitly on the blueprint, noting “the breadth of experience of the working group and the widespread uptake of its final report.”

Thomas Abt - Senior Fellow; Chair, Violent Crime Working Group

Thomas Abt (chair)

Senior Fellow, Council on Criminal Justice

Ciera Bates-Chamberlain - Executive Director, Live Free Illinois

Ciera Bates-Chamberlain

Executive Director, Live Free Illinois

Eduardo Bocanegra - Senior Director, READI Chicago

Eduardo Bocanegra

Executive Director, Live Free Illinois

Paul Carrillo - Community Violence Initiative Director, Giffords Law Center

Paul Carrillo

Director, Community Violence Initiative, Giffords Law Center

Hernan Carvente-Martinez, Founder and CEO, Healing Ninjas

Hernán Carvente-Martinez

Founder and CEO, Healing Ninjas, Inc.

Linda Harllee Harper - In Memoriam

Linda Harllee Harper

Director, Gun Violence Prevention, Washington, D.C.

Daniel Isom - Director of Public Safety, City of St. Louis

Daniel Isom

Director of Public Safety, City of St. Louis

London Kite - Judge, Florida 4th Circuit Court

London Kite

Judge, Florida 4th Circuit Court

Ajima Olaghere - Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, Temple University

Ajima Olaghere

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, Temple University

Emily Owens - Professor, University of California, Irvine

Emily Owens

Professor, Dept. of Criminology, Law, and Society University of California-Irvine

Alexis Piquero - Professor of Sociology & Criminology; Arts & Sciences Distinguished Scholar, University of Miami

Alexis Piquero

Chair, Dept. of Sociology, University of Miami

Jason Potts - Director, Las Vegas Department of Public Safety

Jason Potts

Captain, Vallejo Police Department

Chico Tillmon - Director, Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy, University of Chicago Crime Lab

Chico Tillmon

Senior Research Fellow, University of Chicago Crime and Education Labs

Emada Tingirides - Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department

Emada Tingirides

Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department

Daniel Webster - Bloomberg Professor of American Health, Johns Hopkins University

Daniel Webster

Bloomberg Professor of American Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Supporters

Support for this initiative comes from the Charles Koch Institute, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,  Microsoft, The Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as CCJ’s general operating contributors.