U.S. flag

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

Research & Evaluation of Boston's Community Violence Intervention & Prevention Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $328,407)

The purpose of this NIJ Research & Evaluation project is an action research approach to engage in research and evaluation of the City of Boston’s Community-based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) that intervenes with those returning from incarceration who are among the highest risk for future violence with particular attention to sources of support and resources in their families and communities. The goals of this project are three-fold: (1) to support Boston’s CVIPI planning and implementation processes; (2) to conduct a process evaluation that examines adherence to implementation of the planning strategy, evidence-informed practices, program delivery and output, and theory of change; and (3) to conduct an individual-level outcome evaluation with exploratory community-level outcomes grounded in restorative principles, cultural responsivity, and inclusion. Boston CVIPI project stakeholders and participants will have opportunities to engage with research and evaluation throughout the project. A five-year grant period is requested in order to meet project goals and assess CVIPI impacts.

A mixed-method longitudinal design is used to address research goals. Data sources include semi-structured interviews with returning citizens (n=70), semi-structured interviews with project stakeholders (n=25), focus groups with caregivers (n=64), and file and document reviews. A panel design will be utilized to examine returning citizen outcomes on violence, victimization traditional measures and restorative-centered health and well-being measures as key intermediate and long-term outcomes of the CVIPI project. Thematic analysis will be used to analyze qualitative data and bivariate and repeated measures ANOVA analysis will be used to analyze quantitative data.

This study fills a needed gap in culturally-responsive and inclusive research that incorporates those who have been the most impacted by community violence and will help to broaden understanding what works to reduce community violence through this research. The elevation of examining of restorative practice and victimization outcomes alongside traditional criminal justice outcome measures in a reentry sample of those at high risk of violence can further our understanding of restoration and the victim-offender overlap in this specific population to create practical interventions and to further research aims. Finally, an empirical assessment of a public health-led community violence reduction initiative involving diverse stakeholders will be informative for science and practice given the lack of empirical research on community violence reduction strategies that lead with public health.

Research results will be disseminated to practitioners, policymakers, and scholars through presentations, electronic modalities, and reports and papers. All data will be archived at through NACJD.

Date Created: September 26, 2023