Criminal Justice Technology

Close-Range Gunfire around DC Schools

Nancy La Vigne
Director of the Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute

Key Findings

  • Disproportionate volume of gunfire happened near a small share of DC schools.

Description

This report examines the incidence of gunfire as measured by gunshot detection technology using data from the 2011-2012 school year. It finds that a disproportionate volume of gunfire happened near a small share of DC schools. About half of DC schools covered by gunshot detection sensors are in close proximity to gunfire, and four schools were subject to repeated bursts of gunfire. These findings shed new light on students’ exposure to violence and raise important questions about the psychological impact of gunfire on students and how their proximity to gunfire may affect truancy and educational outcomes.

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