Gun Violence Problem Analysis Summary Report: Washington, D.C.

Dec 01, 2021
  • Description

The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) partnered with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CCJC), the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and other local law enforcement and supervision agencies to conduct a detailed analysis of shootings and homicides in Washington, DC. A Gun Violence Problem Analysis (GVPA) is a set of analytical exercises designed to support the implementation of violence reduction strategies; the GVPA is a research-based methodology used in several cities nationally. 

Homicides have risen gradually in the District since 2017 and this trend continued through 2021 as DC and other U.S. cities experienced increased violence. The DC homicide rate in 2020 was 18% higher than the city's 2019 rate.

This Gun Violence Problem Analysis examined all 341 homicides occurring in the District of Columbia from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020, and all 522 nonfatal injury shootings that occurred from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. Officer-involved shootings, accidental selfinflictions, and cases of justified self-defense were excluded from our sample. The goal of this analysis is to examine the circumstances of the event itself, explore the characteristics ofindividuals involved, and identify the networks associated with the highest risk of violence. This work establishes a common understanding of the local violence problem that can help guidepolicy, tailor interventions to those at the highest risk of violence, and inform the work of civic,community, and criminal justice leaders to reduce gun violence in The District of Columbia.