“The recent spate of gun violence illustrates the need for programs such as the City Council’s cure violence initiative,” Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) said in a press release celebrating New York City’s forthcoming $12.7m payout to most favored felons and known gang bangers (a.k.a., “violence interrupters”). “Our existing cure violence program has made strides in keeping our neighborhoods safe with trained violence interrupters, conflict mediation, credible messengers and other proven tools. The initiative is one of the many resources we have to defuse gun violence and other volatile situations, and I’m pleased that this City Council initiative will deliver additional resources to communities where they are needed. I will aggressively continue to work toward seeking solutions to gun violence in the community.” Yes, well . . .

As we pointed out when the so-called “violence interrupters” program first spread like a virus from Chicago to New York, there is no credible evidence that the program has had any effect on reducing “gun violence.” I say credible, because cureviolence.org’s “results” web page cites three – count ’em three – studies that show an incredible reduction in firearms-related killings and shootings.

The Chicago CeaseFire report was prepared by six researchers (at taxpayer’s expense) who readily admit that the violence interrupters program is based on unproven concepts.

CeaseFire’s interventions are “theory driven.” The program is built upon a coherent theory of behavior that specifies how change agents could be mobilized to address some of the immediate causes of violence: norms regarding violence, on-the-spot decision making by individuals at risk of triggering violence, and the perceived risks and costs of involvement in violence among the targeted population. Some of the program’s core concepts and strategies were adapted from the public health field, which has shown considerable success in addressing issues such as smoking, seat belt use, condom use, and immunization.

So “gun violence” as an epidemic. Only the “doctors” are also the patients.

CeaseFire occasionally and unknowingly hired individuals who were still involved with and may have still been active gang members, although all of its policies and procedures were aimed at preventing this.

Make no mistake: CeaseFire frequently and intentionally paid over 100 “previously incarcerated people” to stop “gun violence.” Program cost? $18.7m. Bottom line? Well, it seems that violence interrupters don’t like filling out paperwork. And the people in charge of collating the limited information didn’t trust the data they received. In fact . . .

Violence interrupters could not prevent all shootings. For instance, arguments were difficult or impossible for interrupters to address when they had no influence over the disputants. More importantly, violence interrupters could not always mediate conflicts through arguments based in street logic. Shootings could be illogical, random, and unpredictable. Due to the unpredictability of human action, conflicts violence interrupters believed they mediated sometimes led to homicides later.

Feeling good about the program yet? If so, then know this: the report’s conclusions are based on crime rate comparisons between areas of Chicago with violence interrupters and areas without violence interrupters – despite the report’s previous admission that they couldn’t get staff to stick to given territories (i.e. “spillover in the geographical targeting of interventions”). Areas chosen/created by the researchers based on unspecified criteria.

And then there’s the fact that there are other important factors in play. So much so that the report’s last paragraph undermines its own [highly dubious] conclusions.

Lying in the background of the evaluation is a huge drop in violence in Chicago, one that began in 1992. The reasons for this decline are, as elsewhere in the nation, ill-understood, and we could not account for possible remaining differences between the target and comparison areas in terms of those obviously important factors.

In short, “These data are not particularly suited for formal statistical analysis.” And yet, Cure Violence, the New York-based violence interrupter service that’s due to receive $12.7m, trumpets CeaseFire’s success as “Reductions in shootings of 41% to 73%.” I don’t think so. But then I’m thinking, not simply accepting the romantic ideal that you can reason someone out of violence. What a waste of money – unless you’re a politician looking to buy votes.

56 Responses to New York City Paying $12.7m to Unaccountable Felons to Curb “Gun Violence”

    • I’m sure he was doing what he felt was the right thing to do, man, if we don’t trust him to make the hard decisions then we might as well just give up, besides I’m sure she deserved it…. That is the same thinking these stinking hippy libs live by.., allow the citizens to protect themselves? Hogwash, we’ll just pay the criminals to manage themselves and hopefully they won’t rob and kill us as much. Fucking idiots, what a waist of money and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

    • What’s a few rapes here and there when you are not only reducing “gun violence”, you’re also reducing the unemployment rate!
      OK, OK, not so good for the 17 year old young lady, but keeping defense attorneys working, prison guards, parole officers… And hey, even the gang banger was making 16 bucks an hour as an “interrupter”. Well, ok, up until he got fired for raping a 17 year old.

      Ok, nevermind.

    • I thought the leftists and social workers call rape “an act of violence” and not sex, so where does this violent felon qualify and “non-violent’?

      Maybe Bloomberg should kick in another $100 million or so to kick the ante up and expand the program to Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, and other locations?

    • 16 bucks an hour! What a crock, my wife has been working at McDonald for 15 years and is a long way from making that, and she’s a manager!

    • I feel like when they were discussing this plan, the guys with the money had just watched Dumb and Dumber. “But sir, we have no evidence to show this actually works, our studies are inconclusive on the actual benefits, we have evidence that violent criminals will take advantage of the program, and it is going to cost us $12 million to implement.

      ….So your telling me theres a chance??

    • These NY and Chicago cons got nuthin’ on the OGs out West. Listen up dawgz…

      “Yo, Yo, Yo…
      Got a sitting US Senator to pimp for me,
      a San Fran School Board Prez, and a Chump Named Yee….
      frontin’ cash for guns, for my Tong homies, ….”

      ~ Shrimp Boy

  1. So essentially he’s(mayor) garnered up his own gang of paid “ex”-thugs…interesting concept, UNTIL…

    BTW, whatever happened to the “Guardian Angels”…???

  2. It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
    To call upon a neighbour and to say: —
    “We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

    It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say: —
    “Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

    And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.

    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray;
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say: —

    “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that pays it is lost!”

    – Rudyard Kipling

    • Nice. Kind of like when Paris tried to pay off the Vikings to keep from sacking the city and then after a few return trips to get paid the Vikings simply sacked the city anyways.

      • That’s exactly what the poem is about, the English paying off the Danes (vikings) not to attack their cities. The Danes just kept coming back each year for payment not to attack

    • “I have struck a city – a real city – and they call it Chicago… I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages”.
      -Rudyard Kipling

    • Millions for Defense.
      Not One Penny for Tribute.
      Thomas Jefferson.

      In the early days of the country, the Barbary Pirates were harassing our ships and kidnapping our sailors in the Mediterranean Sea. They offered President Thomas Jefferson the opportunity to pay a “small” tribute to stop the attacks and free the men, in the tradition of the Muslim Jizya Tax applied to infidels in Muslim lands.

      Jefferson responded by building The United States Navy and establishing The United States Marine Corps and sending them to “The Shores of Tripoli”.

      • Your larger point is solid, but a nit to be picked: the Marines were founded quite a bit earlier than the Jefferson administration, in fact they were created by the Continental Congress in 1775 (i.e., before there was actually a United States).

  3. Wow. This is probably the stupidest program I’ve never heard of before. Lets pay some ex gang bangers to do… what exactly? essentially just exist? like am I missing something?

    • Oh well. What’s one more leak in the bucket of taxpayer’s dollars? With a few hugs and a little cash we can turn gangbangers into peaceful parasites.

      • Until they figure out that they can kill the other parasites to get more jobs for their own gang members, and still distribute the drugs into the bargain. A conglomerate!!

  4. Must be nice to have buckets of money thrown at you without ever having to prove you are producing. I should write a proposal to study how climate change affects gun violence among gay, transgendered, disabled, undocumented immigrants in low income areas.

    • Given the epic incompetence of the Obama administration, I bet you could get about $42.7 million for a study of that nature.

  5. So they are paying gang members to reduce violence and patting them on the back for no results?
    Tax money at work.

  6. I thought paying tribute went out of style when we kicked the Barbary Pirate’s collective butts! I guess all things are new again.

  7. Wait wutt? Kinda’ makes vigilante justice sensible. Welfare for violent criminals? Yes I did hear of this BS in Chicago. Didn’t work out too good either.

    • How ’bout we treat hem as some advocate for foreign countries; arm the thugs with the latest military hardware, so they can kill each other quicker?

  8. I’m not a felon but, for the low price of $150,000 per year, I promise to tell everyone I know not to shoot anyone illegally. Is that good enough to start the Seattle branch?

  9. I will at least give Ceasefire some credit for trying something other than BAN BAN BAN GUNS.

    But what I think what they really need is a nice big $50million boost by Bloomberg and gang. Only then will the violence go down. (sarcasm off)

    • There you go!
      1. Give all the violent yoots a big payday, courtesy of the Mighty Midget.
      2. Put them all on a boat.
      3. Send it on its way to Australia.

      They’ll love it there. Beer. Broads, Barbie. No [legal] guns. They’ll love it there I tell you.

      • And they can romance the Kangaroo’s and maybe even start a new race. And then they can set up their own new justice system, when you are bad, you get 40 nights in a crocodile pool, with your hands tied.

      • NO!! Because they would mutiny and divert the boat to New Zealand, which is a tiny bit closer. Actually, Australia was started in 1788 by the Royal Navy, as America had taken away their safety valve to place unwanted convicts. They knew not to try it in New Zealand, as the native were extremely fierce cannibals, and any colony had no hope of survival.

        Since then, New Zealand has been taken over by the British, then lately the Chinese, and we have little or no defense force. A gang of black youth could probably take over the whole country. Their culture has already enslaved our brown gangs, so it’s hard to listen to radio.

        This is truly not a good idea (so it’s likely it will happen).

  10. “The constant evidence of life-saving DGUs by law-abiding armed citizens against criminals and violent people illustrates the need for the Constitutional Right to Bear and Carry Arms.”

    Fixed.

  11. Hmm…. throwing buckets of cash at scary people so they won’t cause havoc in your town… Isn’t that what the Romans tried with Attila? Not sure that worked out all that well.

    • Negotiating with unionized thugs…

      Featherbedding, work rules, two week vacations and OSHA. The violence-production industry will grind to a halt!

  12. I heard the murder rate in Chiraq was 38% up this year, and they are blaming this on a mild winter allowing gang bangers to be outdoors more often. Also white people haven’t been buying the usual quantity of drugs, so the gangs are losing money and fighting harder over territory.

    No sign these “violence interrupters” are having any effect at all.

    Sometimes the need to be seen to be “doing something” results in something really, really stupid being done.

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