U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

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

NCJ Number
Sarah Picard-Fritsche; Rachel Swaner; Suvi Hynynen Lambson
Date Published
June 2014
56 pages
This report provides the results of a process evaluation of the Brownsville (Brooklyn) Anti-Violence Project.
Key findings from the process evaluation of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project include the following: survey respondents reported gun violence as the community's most pressing problem ahead of both unemployment and drug sales; 33 percent of respondents felt it was necessary to carry a gun to protect oneself and one's family. A majority of respondents reported that police-community relations were strained; a majority of respondents reported at least one violent conviction and over one-third had been convicted of a gun offense. Less than one quarter of respondents felt the police had a good reason for arresting someone; and analysis of the data revealed that low perceptions of legitimacy, high legal cynicism, and belonging to a social network of active gun users were significant predictors of having carried, owned, or used a gun in the past year. This report was compiled by the Center for Court Innovation to examine the effectiveness of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project, a program designed to respond to gun violence through a combination of focused deterrence and legitimacy-building. The project is an adaptation of the Project Safe Neighborhoods model used in Chicago. Data for the evaluation were obtained from several sources including 15 months of structured observations of the offender notification forums, results of baseline community and offender-specific Brownsville resident surveys, and informal interviews with project staff and stakeholders. While a full report of the effectiveness of the project is not expected until the fall of 2015, these findings indicate that the project will have a positive impact on enhancing the legitimacy of the police and reducing gun violence in the Brownsville neighborhood. Policy implications are discussed. Tables, references, and appendixes

Date Published: June 1, 2014