This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgoz is licensed under CC 2.0

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Focused Deterrence and the Prevention of Violent Gun Injuries: Practice, Theoretical Principles, and Scientific Evidence

January 7, 2015

Focused deterrence strategies are a relatively new addition to a growing portfolio of evidence-based violent gun injury prevention practices available to policy makers and practitioners. These strategies seek to change offender behavior by understanding the underlying violence-producing dynamics and conditions that sustain recurring violent gun injury problems and by implementing a blended strategy of law enforcement, community mobilization, and social service actions. Consistent with documented public health practice, the focused deterrence approach identifies underlying risk factors and causes of recurring violent gun injury problems, develops tailored responses to these underlying conditions, and measures the impact of implemented interventions. This article reviews the practice, theoretical principles, and evaluation evidence on focused deterrence strategies. Although more rigorous randomized studies are needed, the available empirical evidence suggests that these strategies generate noteworthy gun violence reduction impacts and should be part of a broader portfolio of violence prevention strategies available to policy makers and practitioners.

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The Effects of "Pulling Levers" Focused Deterrence Strategies on Crime

March 1, 2012

A numb er of American police departments have been experimenting with new problem -oriented policing frameworks to prevent gang and group -involved violence generally known as the "pulling levers" focused deterrence strategies. Focused deterrence strategies honor core deterrence ideas, such as increasing risks faced by offenders, while finding new and creative ways of deploying traditional and non- traditional law enforcement tools to do so, such as directly communicating incentives and disincentives to targeted off enders. Pioneered in Boston to halt serious gang violence, the focused deterrence framework has been applied in many American cities through federally sponsored violence prevention programs. In its simplest form, the approach consists of selecting a particular crime problem, such as gang homicide; convening an interagency working group of law enforcement, social - service, and community -based practitioners; conducting research to identify key offenders, groups, and behavior patterns; framing a response to offenders and groups of offenders that uses a varied menu of sanctions ("pulling levers") to stop them from continuing their violent behavior; focusing social services and community resources on targeted offenders and groups to match law enforcement prevention efforts; and directly and repeatedly communicating with offenders to make them understand why they are receiving this special attention. These new strategic approaches have been applied to a range of crime problems, such as overt drug markets and individual repeat offenders, and have shown promising results in the reduction of crime.