Alternatives to Gang Policing

As violence is unfortunately still a reality in some communities of color, alternatives to gang policing tactics are crucial to helping keep neighborhoods safe without criminalizing or incarcerating its residents. There are proven, evidence-based methods that have worked in the past and are working today to drive down violence.

  • Social Inclusion
      • Empowering youth and young adults both gang-involved or not to take part in community-based work, access quality employment and participate in decision-making processes can reduce violence. In Ecuador and Barcelona, Spain, social inclusion approaches towards gangs produced declines in violence. In New York City under Mayor Lindsay, local gang leaders were included in the process of identifying community needs and concerns. This approach led to New York producing better outcomes in reducing gang violence as compared to the enforcement-based efforts of places like California, where gang violence spiked.
  • Credible Messengers
      • The work of credible messengers and violence interrupters has been demonstrably proven to reduce shootings and violence. In areas of New York, where these efforts have unfortunately been underfunded, shootings and gunshot victim statistics dramatically declined where these programs were available compared to areas where they were not.
  • Community Investments
    • Increase funding for programs that could support and not criminalize people would work to address the root causes of violence, and not simply attempt to arrest our way to safety. These include:
      • Employment development
      • Sustainable housing
      • Conflict transformation
      • Mental health initiatives
      • Restorative justice