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Pulling levers focused deterrence strategies and the prevention of gun homicide


  • Braga, Anthony A.


A number of jurisdictions have been experimenting with new problem-oriented policing frameworks to understand and respond to gun violence among gang-involved offenders. These interventions are based on the "pulling levers" deterrence strategy that focuses criminal justice and social service attention on a small number of chronically offending gang members responsible for the bulk of urban gun violence problems. Unfortunately, there is relatively little rigorous evaluation evidence on the effectiveness of these approaches to violence prevention. In Stockton, California, an interagency task force implemented a pulling levers strategy to prevent gun homicide among gang-involved offenders. A U.S. Department of Justice-sponsored impact evaluation suggests that the pulling levers strategy was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the monthly number of gun homicide incidents in Stockton. A comparative analysis of gun homicide trends in Stockton relative to other midsize California cities also supports a unique program effect associated with the pulling levers intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • Braga, Anthony A., 2008. "Pulling levers focused deterrence strategies and the prevention of gun homicide," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 332-343, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:332-343

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
    2. Anne Morrison Piehl & Suzanne J. Cooper & Anthony A. Braga & David M. Kennedy, 2003. "Testing for Structural Breaks in the Evaluation of Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 550-558, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gravel, Jason & Bouchard, Martin & Descormiers, Karine & Wong, Jennifer S. & Morselli, Carlo, 2013. "Keeping promises: A systematic review and a new classification of gang control strategies," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 228-242.

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