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U.S. DOJ Violence Reduction Network Shows Promise in Early Stages

NCJ Number
251449
Date Published
Author(s)
Basia E. Lopez (Combs)
Annotation
After describing the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ’s) model for reducing violent crime under its Violence Reduction Network (VRN) grants, this article reports on an evaluation of the early phases of the implementation of the VRN model in participating cities (April through December 2015).
Abstract
The VRN model has its foundation in Maryland’s Safe Streets initiative, which focused on core groups of offenders who commit the majority of violent crimes and drug offenses. In addition VRN is similar in structure to the Community Oriented Policing Services Office’s collaborative reform program. This assists police departments in learning and implementing DOJ policy and practices. The core principles of community policing are partnerships with community resources, problemsolving, and organizational transformation. These principles are incorporated in the VRN model. DOJ resources provide free, site-specific, customized training to increase local agencies’ capabilities in addressing violence reduction in communities most affected. In 2015 the National Institute of Justice funded a process evaluation that critically examined program activities, characteristics, and outcomes in the VRN participating cities. The evaluation found that VRN implementation is site-specific, based on the various levels of crime and distinctive site characteristics. The program successfully supports police agencies’ needs and fill gaps in service by providing support to each jurisdiction’s evolving and existing strategies for combating violent crime. The VRN was found to implement data-driven strategies for identifying and targeting each site;s most urgent needs in countering violent crime. Although the evaluation concluded that VRN has been successfully implemented across sites, the program faces challenges. This report identifies several core factors that will assist VRN in enabling continued successful implementation. 1 table and 2 figures
Date Created: December 14, 2017