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Policing and Violence

police car


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

Preliminary Neighborhood Level Impact Analysis Communities Partnering 4 Peace

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.

Retraining Police to Reduce Complaints and Misconduct

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.

Networks and Police Misconduct

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 

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

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.