As this story from the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, the much ballyhooed program of violence reduction is apparently not successful so far in New Orleans.
While one year is much too short a time to provide a rigorous evaluation, it does point out the great danger of program replication in other areas when a program model works in one area.
Criminals are opportunistic and do keep aware of crime fighting trends and will change their behavior in response to that, while most criminal justice practitioners—especially those with no experience as a criminal—mistakenly think the criminal world is the same in Boston as it is in Houston.
“A little more than a year after the CeaseFire program was announced in early April 2012, the staff tasked with short-circuiting street violence through personal intervention had identified 40 conflicts that could result, or had already ended up, in bloodshed in an area of New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood.
“Interrupters” employed by CeaseFire met with victims of violence and their friends and relatives at their homes, on the streets and even in hospitals and spent hours trying to persuade them from seeking revenge. When the threat of retaliation seemed to be defused, outreach workers took over the case and tried to find jobs, education opportunities or even rehab for the people involved.
“Despite the CeaseFire staff’s efforts, the number of killings and shootings in Central City has not been reduced. The number, in fact, has increased.”