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Policing and Violence

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Instances of police use and misuse of force are national news stories, as is the rise in gang violence in cities like Chicago. But what drives groups to violence, and is it possible to intervene and prevent it? IPR researchers have some answers.

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Research Roundup

Managing Multiple Pandemics: How Street Outreach Workers Are Addressing Gun Violence and COVID-19

September 2020

This report details how how street outreach workers are currently dealing with three pandemics: gun violence, the coronavirus, and racism and police violence. Data show that the neighborhoods covered by outreach workers affiliated with Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P) were the very same neighborhoods with Chicago’s highest rates of COVID-19.

New Research Shows That the Typical Homicide Victim is in Their Late 20s

September 2020

N3’s latest report shows that in 2019 the average age of a homicide victim in Chicago was 29 years of age and the median age was 27 years old, meaning that a typical homicide victim is in his or her 20s. Over the past decade, the median has fluctuated between 24 and 28 years old, and Chicago has seen a 71% decrease in the number of victims 12 or younger since the 1990s.

Communities Partnering for Peace (CP4P) Street Outreach: The Moments that Matter

August 2020

As the research partner for CP4P, the Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3) uses quantitative and qualitative methods to study its impact.  While analysis of administrative and survey data illuminates a wide range of behaviors and outcomes, they cannot fully describe the full spectrum of potential participant outcomes. Therefore, CP4P and N3 launched a qualitative study to provide a more holistic account of participants' lives and experiences with street outreach.

Chicago Community Policing Initiative Shows Promise

July 2020

In January 2019, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in collaboration with the Policing Project at New York University School of Law launched the Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative (CNPI). As CNPI’s research and evaluation partner, the Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3) began evaluating CNPI during the initial rollout, and has found results that suggest both community and police believe CNPI to be useful for building trust and fostering meaningful community engagement.

Retraining Police to Reduce Complaints and Misconduct

April 2020

IPR sociologist Andrew Papachristos, IPR postdoctoral fellow George Wood, and Yale’s Tom Tyler conducted a rigorous evaluation of whether training nearly 8,500 officers in procedural justice strategies from January 2012 to March 2016 would reduce use of force. The procedural justice model emphasizes listening and responding to people in the community, and treating the public with dignity, courtesy, and respect.

Preliminary Neighborhood Level Impact Analysis Communities Partnering 4 Peace

March 2020

In the summer of 2017, eight outreach organizations in Chicago joined together to create a comprehensive, long-term intervention to combat gun violence and gang activity. The initiative, Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), partnered with Northwestern’s Neighborhood and Network Initiative (N3), is mobilizing a four-pillar approach to violence. This brief presents preliminary results of a community-level analysis, looking at what happened to gun violence trends in CP4P treatment communities from 2017–19.

Networks and Police Misconduct

August 2019

A recent analysis by IPR sociologist Andrew Papachristos and his colleagues of police officers’ work networks finds that officers who worked with others who were accused of misuse of force were more likely to also be involved in misuse of force.

The Network Structure of Police Misconduct 

July 2019

In related research, Papachristos, IPR postdoctoral fellow George Wood, and Daria Roithmayr of the University of Southern California discover that police misconduct is concentrated in networks. They explore the role of gender, race, and tenure in the networks and recommend steps to decrease complaints against officers.

Predicting Police Misconduct

October 2018

Civilian allegations can predict which police officers pose the highest risk for serious misconduct. The allegations can serve as an early warning system to reduce misconduct and save cities money, according to a study by law professor and IPR associate Max Schanzenbach.