Ending violence is the hope of many, but how?

Jacksonville citizens continue to protest violence and tout the latest fads in crime prevention but there is little data to show such programs are accomplishing much, or ever will.

One local media outlet reported “Members of 38 churches, congregations and community groups gathered to pray for an end to violence…”

The local organization ICARE was leading the effort, claiming that a tactic used in other cities is better than one being used in Jacksonville.

It also asked the Sheriff’s Office to give up on jailing people for minor infractions and write them tickets instead.

On the Far Left, the usual remedies recommended for eliminating murder are taking guns away from the victims of crime, reducing police personnel and giving criminals a slap on the wrist.

Jacksonville currently is spending millions of dollars on Cure Violence, a program that claims to reduce violence by treating it as a public health issue.

But ICARE was promoting a program now called Group Violence Intervention. This one, according to the liberal reference site Wikipedia, has resulted in homicide reductions in Boston, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Chicago, among others.

However, the reductions only counted murders by members of the gangs that participated in the program, not overall. While that could be important because a very large percentage of murders are committed by a small percentage of people, mostly gang members, it is misleading.

In addition, murder rates fluctuate and Wikipedia does not indicate whether the cities experiencing reductions were in line with the nationwide trend or not.

Moreover, according to the New York Times the cities with the highest murder rates m 2019 were, in order, St. Louis, Baltimore, Birmingham, Detroit and Dayton.

ICARE criticized the sheriff for not buying the program but if the cities with the biggest murder problems are not using it, or are using it without success, why would he?

Meanwhile, Far Left prosecutors in Democrat areas are abandoning the one thing that absolutely prevents violence: putting people in prison. Few people in prison commit another murder and when they do the victim invariably is another criminal.

Jacksonville has had special City Council committees, task forces and the former “think tank,” JCCI, study local crime and murder and all reached the same conclusions: there is a lot of crime and they don’t know what to do about it.

As an experiment, Eye on Jacksonville tried using artificial intelligence to ask how effective crime prevention programs in Jacksonville have been. It produced this:

“The effectiveness of programs in reducing violent crime in Jacksonville, FL has been mixed. While initiatives like the Cure Violence program have shown positive results in other cities, Jacksonville has faced challenges in significantly reducing violent crime rates. Despite efforts by organizations like the Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation and collaborations with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the city has struggled to solve the problem of violent crime effectively. In 2020, although the overall crime rate decreased by 9.7% in Jacksonville, there was an increase in murders and aggravated assaults compared to the previous year. The Cure Violence program, which aims to reduce violence by treating it as a communicable disease, has demonstrated success in other cities with significant reductions in killings and shootings. However, Jacksonville continues to face high rates of violent crime, with initiatives like treatment courts, the Keys 2 Drive program, and juvenile civil citations offering alternatives to arrest. The city’s approach to combating violent crime involves a combination of law enforcement strategies, community involvement, and targeted interventions to address the root causes of violence.”

The citations for the AI findings, however, were mostly from local news outlets – hardly experts on anything.

It seems that, lacking further and more convincing data, groups that are praying, like ICARE, may accomplish more than faddish and expensive crime prevention programs.

They should pray for stronger families, better education and less hatemongering by politicians.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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