Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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DC Issues Strategic Plan for Reduction of Gun Violence 

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The District released a strategic plan in response to a spike in gun violence around the city over the past few years, including a sharp rise since the COVID pandemic began.

The DC government is criticized in the plan for “lacking the political commitment, coordination, and a coherent strategy to reduce gun violence,” despite boasting the required resources and ability.

The plan was commissioned by DC’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention in partnership with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) based on an analysis completed in February 2022 by the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) and CJCC. 

“Dubbed the nation’s ‘murder capital’ in late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the District logged 482 homicides in 1991. But in 2012 the city had its lowest homicide count in 49 years, with 88 murders. In 2021, the District reached the grim milestone of more than 200 killings for the first time in 17 years, amassing a total of 2261 murders,” said the plan.

Authors of the plan focused on three main points: violence prevention, violence intervention, and community transformation, with a special emphasis on violence intervention. 

Recommendations include conducting a cohort assessment of young people aged from 20 to 26 who have been convicted of homicide or attempted homicide, and tracing their background. 

Establishing community resource hubs and a “Youth Data and Intervention Initiative” that collects real time data on youth in DC public schools and charter schools is also recommended. 

Another key recommendation is implementing a coordinated, citywide Gun Violence Reduction Strategy, which contains data-driven identification of individuals and groups at highest risk of gun violence; direct and respectful communication to those at high risk; and focusing law enforcement on violence instead of low level, petty crimes.

In recent weeks, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that it was pairing 200 residents identified as most at risk of being involved in gun violence with support teams led by cabinet members under a new initiative titled “People of Promise.”

New DC Program Pairs People at Risk of Gun Violence to Support Teams

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