Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $75,000)
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) seeks to build the District government’s capacity to conduct a gun violence problem analysis in-house. Specifically, CJCC will engage a subject matter expert to provide technical assistance for an interdisciplinary group of research partners from the CJCC, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the District’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) to regularize a process by which the SAC can examine the circumstances of shootings/homicides, measure victim and suspect interactions with the system, and identify high-risk individuals who are disproportionally contributing to the rise in gun violence in the District. In 2021, CJCC engaged the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) to conduct a gun violence problem analysis to (1) establish a common understanding of the local violence problem and (2) inform the selection and implementation of violence reduction strategies. The problem analysis report, which was completed in December 2021, demonstrated that most gun violence in the District is concentrated on a small number of very high risk, young, Black male adults who share a common set of risk factors, including: involvement in groups/crews; significant criminal justice history; prior victimization; and a connection to a recent shooting. Specifically, NICJR estimated that, in a given year, there are at least 500 identifiable people in the District who are at “very high risk” of being a victim or perpetrator of gun violence, and likely no more than 200 at any given time. These highest risk individuals account for approximately 60-70% of all gun violence in the District. As a result of their qualitative and quantitative efforts, NICJR generated a list of 230 individuals considered to be at very high risk; the list has been shared with various agencies in the District for the purpose of outreach and service provision to prevent future violence. NICJR and other experts advise that efforts to understand gun violence and identify high-risk individuals need to be both ongoing and iterative, to account for the fact that circumstances and people change over time.