CRIME MAPPING: How Indianapolis Has Used Data To Target Homicides In The Past
INDIANAPOLIS – The City of Indianapolis is working to reduce the number of violent crime in the city using data-driven efforts. However, this is not the first time that the city has made similar efforts to tackle homicides.
A 2009 study reports that homicides in the United States reached an all-time high in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report indicates that the murder rate has reached an all-time high. peak of 10.2 homicides per 100,000 people in 1980.
Cities across the country have responded to the spike in homicides by implementing problem-focused policing strategies. One of those strategies was Boston’s “pull the lever” strategy. This strategy aimed to reduce youth homicides and gun violence by combining problem solving and targeted deterrence with links to services and opportunities.
This strategy was replicated in several cities, including Indianapolis in the late 1990s. An assessment of several cities that implemented the strategy showed that only Indianapolis experienced a significant reduction in the number of monthly homicides by the time of the year. ‘intervention.
In Indianapolis, the city investigated to determine that the homicides were committed by young men, both as victims and offenders. City and community members met face-to-face with high-risk groups, focusing on neighborhoods most at risk.
In addition, special emphasis has been placed on increasing collaboration and communication between criminal justice officials, community leaders, faith-based community leaders, social service providers, ex-offender groups and Indianapolis educators.
A study of the initiative’s outcomes focused on the demographics of 15-24 year olds in Indianapolis as well as neighborhood-level predictors including divorce rate, residential stability, and a concentrated disadvantage score.
The meetings focused on three adjacent neighborhoods that have experienced high rates of youth homicides. Emphasis was placed on integrating positive social support from the community into the deterrence-based message.
As a result of this strategy, homicides in Indianapolis fell from 146 homicides in 1997 to 96 homicides in 2000.
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