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Aiming At Students: The College Gun Violence Epidemic

October 1, 2016

When students and parents consider criteria for choosing a college, campus safety is typically not at the top of the list. But most students and parents probably don't realize that gun violence at colleges has exploded over the past five school years, increasing from just 12 incidents during the 2010-2011 school year to nearly 30 during the 2015-2016 school year—and that the number of shooting victims has also spiked to a disturbing level.Given that studies have shown that gun violence victimization and mere exposure to gun violence can lead to poor academic performance, disruptions at school or work, relationship problems, and lasting emotional distress – and, of course, the physical danger that shootings put students in – it is clear that campus safety needs to become more of a priority.To analyze shooting trends at U.S. colleges, the Crime Commission reviewed 190 incidents at 142 colleges from the 2001-2002 school year through the 2015-2016 school year in which at least one person was intentionally shot (excluding the shooter) on the campus of a two- or four-year college, as well as incidents that occurred within two miles of a college campus, and at least one student was shot.Unsurprisingly, the increase was most profound on colleges in states with increased access to guns. And based on current trends, the problem is likely to become much graver over the next decade. It is imperative that lawmakers, policymakers, college administrators, law enforcement and others begin to have a serious dialogue and enact meaningful reforms to address this epidemic and make America's colleges safe again.

Mayhem Multiplied: Mass Shooters & Assault Weapons

June 1, 2016

Mass shootings have taken place consistently throughout American history, in every region of the country. Over the last 30 years, however, assault weapons and firearms equipped with large- capacity ammunition magazines—which hold more than 10 rounds—have proliferated, allowing assailants to become much more destructive. As the following analysis shows, the results have been deadly for Americans.As part of our non-partisan mission to prevent violence at the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, we track mass shootings. Our Mass Shooting Incidents in America database catalogs shootings in which four or more victims were killed in a public place unrelated to another crime since 1984. Between June 1984 and June 2016, there were 72 such incidents—46 (64%) of which involved a perpetrator armed with an assault weapon or firearms equipped with a large-capacity magazine.Assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines were outlawed for 10 years between 1994 and 2004 as part of the federal Assault Weapons Ban, providing us with periods for comparison in order to determine the ban's impact on mass shooting casualties. The results are startling.Between June 1984 and June 2016, shooters who used assault weapons and large-capacity magazines killed or injured 301% more people than those who did not. There were nearly 1,000 victims in those incidents—186% more killed than when a non-assault weapon or regular- capacity magazine was used, and 523% more injured.Perhaps the most important finding is that the federal ban clearly reduced mass shooting casualties: The number of people killed or injured in mass shootings involving assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines during the decade of the ban was nearly half what it was in the decade before (145 v. 241); and it was a third of the number of casualties since (541 from September 2004 through June 2016).

Social Media and Real-World Consequences: Volume 1 - From Virtual to Violent: How Social Media Fuels Real-World Violence

July 14, 2015

Social media has become a part of everyday life. All types of real-world behavior are now showcased online -- including criminal behavior, bullying, threats and the glorification of violence. Increasingly, youth associated with antisocial peer groups -- such as neighborhood-based "crews" engaging in violent rivalries -- use social media as a tool to create criminal opportunities and amplify conflicts. Unfortunately, in many cases, this type of social media usage can lead to real-life violence or other serious ramifications, such as arrest. Volume 1 of the Crime Commission's series, "Social Media & Real-World Consequences," provides an overview of the ways youth are communicating on social media and the associated risks of these communications turning into real-world violence.

Social Media and Real-World Consequences: Volume 2 - Responding to Social Media Norms: Developing a Comprehensive Strategy to Promote Digital Citizenship

July 14, 2015

Social media has become a part of everyday life. All types of real-world behavior are now showcased online -- including criminal behavior, bullying, threats and the glorification of violence. Increasingly, youth associated with antisocial peer groups -- such as neighborhood-based "crews"? engaging in violent rivalries -- use social media as a tool to create criminal opportunities and amplify conflicts. Unfortunately, in many cases, this type of social media usage can lead to real-life violence or other serious ramifications, such as arrest. Volume 2 of the Crime Commission's series, "Social Media & Real-World Consequences", provides an overview of the range of legal, educational and professional consequences youth may face in the real-world.

Sustaining Crime Reductions in New York City: Priorities for Preventing Youth Crime

June 19, 2015

New York City's success at driving crime down to unprecedented lows has ushered in a new era of policing: one in which more time is spent preventing crimes than reacting to them. In this report, the Crime Commission recommends that to sustain these crime reductions, the police and the growing body of responsible stakeholders should prioritize efforts that address youth victimization and exposure to violence; develop the youth workforce; enhance legitimacy; break down silos to improve coordination; and address the negative impacts that state and local policies have on youth.

Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews - Volume I - Defining the Problem: Crews and Gun Violence

May 20, 2015

The success or failure of community strategies to address the youth gun violence crisis is often attributed in part to how well the problem is understood and diagnosed. With support from The New York Community Trust, the Crime Commission has undertaken an analysis of youth gun violence and crew activity -- violent turf rivalries among less-organized, smaller and normally younger groups than traditional gangs -- in select New York City communities. Our initial findings from available data, existing research and interviews with stakeholders are presented in a series of papers titled, Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews.

Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews - Volume II - CompStat for Violence Prevention Programs: Collecting Program Specific Data to Manage Performance and Inform Policy

May 20, 2015

The success or failure of community strategies to address the youth gun violence crisis is often attributed in part to how well the problem is understood and diagnosed. With support from The New York Community Trust, the Crime Commission has undertaken an analysis of youth gun violence and crew activity -- violent turf rivalries among less-organized, smaller and normally younger groups than traditional gangs -- in select New York City communities. Our initial findings from available data, existing research and interviews with stakeholders are presented in a series of papers titled, "Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews."

Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews - Volume III - Responding to the Problem: Coordinating a Continuum of Services

May 20, 2015

The success or failure of community strategies to address the youth gun violence crisis is often attributed in part to how well the problem is understood and diagnosed. With support from The New York Community Trust, the Crime Commission has undertaken an analysis of youth gun violence and crew activity -- violent turf rivalries among less-organized, smaller and normally younger groups than traditional gangs -- in select New York City communities. Our initial findings from available data, existing research and interviews with stakeholders are presented in a series of papers titled, Assessing New York City's Youth Gun Violence Crisis: Crews.