Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) seeks to end gun violence at the neighborhood level by changing local norms.
The Center operates S.O.S. programs in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, and the Bronx neighborhoods of the South Bronx (Mott Haven) and Morrisania. The core of the program consists of violence interrupters with first-hand knowledge of street and gang life who use their credibility and relationships to mediate conflicts before they escalate. In partnership with local organizations and faith leaders, S.O.S. holds frequent community events along with rapid responses to individual shootings, sending the message that the community will not tolerate violence.
While crime has been declining amid COVID-19, in cities across the country, gun violence and homicides have been the exceptions. Long-time researcher and former Obama Department of Justice official, Thomas Abt, says there are proven solutions to reduce the violence. But he says both the right and the left fail to grasp the essence of any solution: focus on the violence itself. Abt is the author of Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets.
As part of a conference sponsored by the Center for Court Innovation and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, we asked justice system leaders and experts, "If you could make just one investment to improve criminal justice in New York City, what would it be?"
Safety is more than just the absence of crime. We asked people from communities around New York City, including our staff and people they work with, about safety—how they define it, and how they’d improve it in the neighborhoods where they live.
WNYC takes a comprehensive look at the factors fueling the recent rise in New York City's jail population, citing our recent analysis of the impact of COVID-19 and of the two waves of state-wide bail reform.
Spurred by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, New York is just one city where protesters are calling for money to be diverted from police budgets to the community. Mayor Bill de Blasio added $10 million of funding for community groups running alternative-to-policing programs, including Save Our Streets.
"In New York City, one study found that gun violence rates declined significantly in two neighborhoods operating violence interruption programs." The Appeal cites our Save Our Streets program in the Bronx as one way to reduce the footprint of police and create safer communities.