Violent Crime

Reconstructing Violence in Inner-City America

David Kennedy
Professor of Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Key Findings

  • In 2011, the homicide rate fell by 40% in America, but it did not affect inner-city areas.


In the book, “Don’t Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America,” Kennedy explores the inner-city crime rates in Boston. Kennedy looked at different perspectives on crime from police officers, gang members and neighborhood-watching grandmothers. He discovered that all groups had unique outlooks on the situation and that each misunderstood and distrusted the other groups. With a new outlook, Kennedy attempted to change group perceptions by reaching out to offenders, families and law enforcement. During his fieldwork, Kennedy saw violence decrease, drug markets dry up and positive relationships between law enforcement and the community grow.

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