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.
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.
On our New Thinking podcast, Patrick Sharkey, the author of Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence, discusses the wider costs of violence and the threat posed by inequality and disinvestment to the current fragile gains. He points to the signal role of community organizing and community-based nonprofits in combating violence and building safer, more resilient cities.
We all know what's wrong with the criminal justice system (fairness and humanity are often in short supply). Drawing from our work, our director, Greg Berman, describes some community-based solutions—like violence interruption, trauma-informed care for the justice-involved, and social workers rather than bail or detention pretrial—that are already making a difference.
Survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting visit our Save Our Streets violence prevention program in the Bronx as part of a national 'March For Our Lives' tour to promote gun control, encourage young people to vote, and amplify the voices of communities across the country affected by violence.
Our anti-violence program Save Our Streets works to change local norms around gun violence. Here a report on a "shooting response," a public demonstration organized by S.O.S. after every incident of gun violence.