Berke attributes Chattanooga's drop in gang violence to Violence Reduction Initiative

Seven years after the creation of Chattanooga's Violence Reduction Initiative, gang violence in the city is down by two-thirds even while other types of gun violence have increased. The program uses an approach called focused deterrence to target people suspected of being at highest risk of committing violence, offering them social services if they stop the violence. It got off to a slow start and has encountered numerous obstacles. But, while no formal evaluation proves that the initiative caused gang violence to decline, city officials believe that the correlation is no coincidence.

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