Don't Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America

David M. Kennedy. Bloomsbury, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-60819-264-9
In a matter-of-fact, street-smart style, coming from years of working with police officers, gang members, and community workers in some of America's most dangerous neighborhoods, Kennedy, professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explains his remarkably effective strategies for combating violent crime. When research showed that only a disproportionately small number of criminals commit most of the most serious crimes, Kennedy had the police identify gang members on parole or probation and urge them to come to a meeting. At the gathering were members of the gangs' families, community service providers, and the police, who explained the legal risks the perpetrators faced (most gang members didn't know)—and demanded that shootings stop. If the killings continued, the perpetrators would not receive another chance; instead, they'd be met with severe punishment, and their entire gang would be targeted. When this program, called Operation Ceasefire, was first tried in Boston in the '90s, violence plummeted by almost two-thirds, and Kennedy chronicles the difficulties in implementing the program to meet the needs of 50 other cities. Warning against the country's "orgy" of incarceration, which disproportionately targets black males in America's most vulnerable neighborhoods, this heartfelt book shows what can happen when police, gangs, and communities come together to address some of America's most intractable social problems. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-60819-413-1
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4088-2889-2
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-4088-2883-0
Paperback - 321 pages - 978-1-60819-414-8
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