Don't Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-city America

Front Cover
Bloomsbury, 2011 - Drug abuse - 305 pages
Gang- and drug-related inner-city violence, with its attendant epidemic of incarceration, is the defining crime problem in our country. In some neighborhoods in America, one out of every two hundred young black men is shot to death every year, and few initiatives of government and law enforcement have made much difference. But when David Kennedy, a self-taught and then-unknown criminologist, engineered the Boston Miracle in the mid-1990s, he pointed the way toward what few had imagined- a solution.
Don't Shoot tells the story of Kennedy's long journey. Riding with beat cops, hanging with gang members, and stoop-sitting with grandmothers, Kennedy found that all parties misunderstood each other, caught in a spiral of racialized anger and distrust. He envisioned an approach in which everyone - gang members, cops, and community member - comes together in what is essentially a huge intervention. Offenders are told that the violence must stop, that even the cops want them to stay alive and out of prison, and that even their families support swift law enforcement if the violence continues. In city after city, the same miracle has followed- violence plummets, drug markets dry up, and the relationship between the police and the community is reset.
This is a landmark book, chronicling a paradigm shift in how we address one of America's most shameful social problems. A riveting, page-turning read, it combines the street verite of The Wire, the social science of Gang Leader for a Day, and the moral urgency and personal journey of Fist Stick Knife Gun. But unlike anybody else, Kennedy shows that there could be an end in sight.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing

More than anything else, this book is about the struggle to recover communities previously considered lost--to violence, drugs, guns, etc. Kennedy's work to help unite these communities WITH law ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dmcco01 - LibraryThing

This book cried out for a good, tough editor. While Kennedy's book was fully of interesting and intriguing tidbits, they were never tied together in a way that made for truly engaging reading. It ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

David M. Kennedy has spent much of the last 25 years on the ground in the country's most dangerous neighborhoods, working with communities to find solutions to crime. The director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control and a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College, Kennedy has received two Webber Seavey awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, two Innovations in American Government awards from the Kennedy School of Government, and a Herman Goldstein Problem-Oriented Policing Award. His work has been used as a model or source for safety and drug intervention initiatives by the Clinton and Bush administrations, and by the Bureau of Justice. He also tours regularly to speak to groups that have included U.S. Congress, Scotland Yard, the National District Attorneys' Association, and the National Conference of Mayors. Kennedy lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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