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.
The Rev. Kevin Jones is the faith-based organizer in Brooklyn for our Save Our Streets program, working to end gun violence at the neighborhood level by changing local norms. "The Rev," as he's known, has created a network of religious leaders of all faiths who share the “Stop Shooting, Start Living” message through community events and rapid responses to individual shootings.
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?"
Brooklyn organizations, including our Save Our Streets team, came together to flood their communities with resources and access to quality programming to help combat a recent uptick in violence in the neighborhood and surrounding area.
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.