John Jay College Study Shows Some NYC Neighborhoods Beset by Gun Violence

John Jay College Study Shows Some NYC Neighborhoods Beset by Gun Violence

John Jay College Study Shows Some NYC Neighborhoods Beset by Gun Violence

New York, NY, May 15, 2015 – Across New York City as a whole, gun violence has declined for the past 20 years, but a study from John Jay College confirms that some neighborhoods are still experiencing high rates of violence. The Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College is assessing the implementation of New York City’s gun violence reduction strategies, including the Cure Violence model.

One element in the study, titled “Perceptions of Violence: Surveying Young Males in New York City,” involves in-person surveys with young men (ages 18-30) in some of the neighborhoods most affected by violence.

Findings from the surveys suggest:

  • Gun violence in some NYC neighborhoods remains a real concern. When survey respondents are asked about their exposure to guns and gun violence, a majority report hearing gunfire in their neighborhood at least once in the past year, and almost one-quarter (23%) heard gunshots more than 10 times during that period.
  • Almost one in five survey respondents report being stabbed and about two in five say that they have been the target of gunfire.
  • Contact with law enforcement is very common among survey respondents. Nearly 80 percent report that they have been “stopped, questioned, and frisked” by police in their neighborhood at least once in the past year.
  • Cure Violence programs are well established in some New York City neighborhoods. The majority of young men in the study are able to recognize the flyers, pamphlets, and posters used to spread the Cure Violence message.

According to Sheyla Delgado, researcher at the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College, “it is clear that not all NYC neighborhoods have benefited from the national crime decline, but the City’s strategies to combat violence seem promising.”

In a previous analysis from the same study, the Research and Evaluation Center looked at crime data in different New York City neighborhoods over a four-year period. The crime trends suggest that the Cure Violence model “may be effective in reducing rates of homicide,” but final results will not be available until next year.

Cure Violence is a public health approach to reduce shootings and killings at the neighborhood level. The model is premised on the view that violence is transmitted from person to person, and like a pathogen, violence could be treated with similar methods used to control contagious disease.

The Research and Evaluation (R&E) Center is an applied research organization that provides members of the academic community at John Jay College with opportunities to respond to the research needs of justice practitioners in New York City, New York State, and the nation.  The R&E Center provides direct assistance to agencies in the justice system, designs and carries out studies of innovative strategies to prevent and reduce crime, and works to improve the effectiveness of interventions at the individual and community level.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit