Deterrence and Legitimacy in Brownsville, Brooklyn: A Process Evaluation of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project

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Deterrence and Legitimacy in Brownsville, Brooklyn: A Process Evaluation of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project

Deterrence and Legitimacy in Brownsville, Brooklyn: A Process Evaluation of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project

By Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Rachel Swaner and Suvi Hynynen Lambson

This report documents a gun violence prevention program and finds high levels of cynicism regarding the fairness and effectiveness of the justice system among residents of the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn.

These findings, combined with disproportionately high levels of violent crime in the neighborhood compared with the rest of Brooklyn, affirm Brownsville as an appropriate setting for a blended deterrence and legitimacy-building approach to gun violence prevention. Direct observation of the resulting offender notification forums consistently showed respect for participants and conveyed a focused deterrent message; yet, a message of support for offenders choosing a nonviolent lifestyle was not consistently conveyed. Implications are discussed.

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