This paper reports on the efforts and the results of the Indianapolis Violence Reductions Partnership (IVRP) to reduce firearm violence in Indianapolis.
The IVRP began as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative (SACSI), which was originally implemented in Indianapolis and four other jurisdictions. The SACSI model calls for a data-driven, strategic problem-solving approach which leads communities to empirically analyze the local firearms violence problem, develop and implement interventions based on the firearms violence analysis, and provide a mechanism for continual evaluation and assessment in order to refine violence reduction strategies. This report is based on an evaluation of the IVRP and indicates that the IVRP process resulted in an unprecedented sharing of information among local, State, and Federal criminal justice agencies serving Indianapolis. The problem solving process resulted in a commitment by the various criminal justice professionals to analyze data and blend this strategic data analysis with an action orientation. The commitment to the program is evidenced by the fact that a group of 20 to 30 criminal justice professionals continue to meet every other week since the program implementation in January 1998. The problem analysis was based on a variety of official and unofficial data sources including calls for service, court records, probation and parole records, and firearms tracing data derived by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The problem analysis indicated that homicide and gun violence in Indianapolis is characterized by young men, suspects and victims sharing extensive criminal histories, concentration in particular geographic areas, suspects and victims involved with known groups of chronic offenders, and suspects and victims associated with drug distribution and use. Intervention strategies included offender notification meetings with groups of high-risk probationers and parolees, multi-agency responses to areas or groups of known suspects, joint Federal-local firearms case screening unit, chronic violent offender program, and home visits to probationers' and parolees' residence. Evaluation of the program revealed a 40 percent decline in the monthly homicide rate compared with the pre-intervention period. Furthermore, fewer homicides involved guns, gangs, and drugs. Offenders also perceived an increased likelihood of sanctions for violent crime. The findings are encouraging and suggest continued experimentation with data-driven, multi-agency approaches to violence reduction. Figures, tables, references, appendix
Date Published: October 1, 2003