Violent Crime Working Group

Violent crime, particularly homicide, is rising rapidly in cities across the nation. Recent reports from the Council find a 30% surge in murders in 2020 compared to the previous year, and a 16% increase for the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, property and drug crimes declined during these same periods.

This rise in violence is claiming lives, filling prisons, and undermining momentum for policing and other criminal justice reforms. Policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government need solutions now.

Composed of a diverse range of leaders representing community organizations, law enforcement, the public health sector, and academia, the Violent Crime Working Group is dedicated to addressing the most pressing and challenging issues concerning crime, violence, and justice.

Launched in July 2021, the Group meets on a rolling basis, tackling a different challenge during each session. Member discussions and findings are then summarized and released in public bulletins featuring concrete suggestions for policy and practice as well as links to relevant research, programs, and funding. The Group also produces independent research on crime trends and holds webinars on select topics.

Who We Are

Thomas Abt

Thomas Abt

Senior Fellow, Council on Criminal Justice (Chair)
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Ciera Bates-Chamberlain

Executive Director, Live Free Illinois
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Eduardo Bocanegra

Senior Director, READI Chicago
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Paul Carrillo

Director, Community Violence Initiative, Giffords Law Center
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Hernán Carvente-Martinez

Founder and CEO, Healing Ninjas, Inc.
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Vaughn Crandall

Co-Director, California Partnership for Safe Communities
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Linda Harllee Harper

Director, Gun Violence Prevention, Washington DC
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Daniel Isom

Director of Public Safety, City of St. Louis
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London Kite

Duval County (FL) Court Judge 
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Ajima Olaghere

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, Temple University
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Emily Owens

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

Chair, Dept. of Sociology, University of Miami
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Jason Potts

Captain, Vallejo Police Department
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Chico Tillmon

Senior Research Fellow, University of Chicago Crime and Education Labs
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Emada Tingirides

Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department
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Daniel Webster

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

What We Do

Meeting Bulletin #3: Understanding Violent Crime

In the Violent Crime Working Group's third meeting, members discussed the evolving nature of violent crime.

Meeting Bulletin #2: Crime Trends in Context

In the Violent Crime Working Group's second meeting, members identified the possible drivers of recent spikes in violent crime.

Event Recording: Violent Crime Webinar

Watch researchers, analysts, and Council members discuss the latest rising crime trends, as well as what’s behind them.

Meeting Bulletin #1: Convening the Violent Crime Working Group

In the Violent Crime Working Group's first meeting, diverse experts identified the values and goals they will bring to their urgent work.

Update: Pandemic, Social Unrest, and Crime in U.S. Cities

June crime statistics show homicides and violent crimes increased by 16% in the first half of 2021 compared to the prior year.

Council Launches New Violent Crime Working Group

Council launches Violent Crime Working Group as murder counts in major American cities continued to rise throughout the first half of 2021.

Supporters

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