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?"
Kellen Khelefu and Davonte Dudley joined a special episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee to talk about our anti-violence program Save our Streets. Viewing gun violence through the lens of a public health crisis, violence interrupters leverage their relationships in neighborhoods affected by gun violence to de-escalate and stop violence before it starts.
A special edition of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee airs on TBS, and Collider has an exclusive clip that teases the show’s take on gun control in the USA. Titled Full Frontal Wants To Take Your Guns, the special will use all of Samantha Bee’s charisma to discuss the polemic proposals surrounding gun reform. Samantha Bee talks to some of the people fighting for gun reform in the USA, like Shannon Watts from Moms Demand Action, Kellen Khelefu from the Center for Court Innovation, and Davonte Dudley from Save Our Streets.