Central Ohio Community Action for Peace (COCAP) will have an info session and dialogue about the "Don't Shoot" model of violent reduction. Nov 15, 6:30 pm -8 pm at Rock of Faith Baptist Church, 1661 E. Main St., Columbus, 43205. Call to share questions prior to meeting: 614-252-3157x126 or email crowland@cchouse.org.


Don’t Shoot Strategy: A Proven Model for Violence Reduction


Goals of the Model:

  1. "Reduce Gun Violence and Build Community

    Reduce gun violence.
  1. Reduce open air drug markets.
  2. Reduce arrests and incarcerations.
  3. Promote reconciliation between police and communities.


How It Works:

-Members of violent groups are communicated with directly by community members, law enforcement, and social service providers through an action called a Call-In.

-The message given to violent groups is that:

1. Violence is unacceptable.

2. You are better than this. You are needed in this neighborhood. We don’t want to send anyone else to prison.

3. We can offer help if you need it.

4. If you leave this conversation and decide to be violent, law enforcement will focus all of their efforts on you and your group.

-Social service providers offer assistance, the community continues to communicate their moral standards, and police and justice system follow through with promised consequences if people choose to shoot.

-Group peer pressure that tends to drive violence is turned into group pressure to avoid violence (so as to avoid a crackdown from the police).



-Typically cities see a 35-50% reduction in homicides after implementing the strategy.

-An evaluation of Boston showed a 50% drop in homicides citywide and a 66% reduction in homicide among men aged 24 and younger.  Cities including Indianapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati have all seen similar results in formal evaluations.

-Communities are empowered to share their values, set standards for their neighborhoods, and communicate it to loved ones, neighbors, and law enforcement.

-Fewer people are incarcerated. Those that are arrested are the primary drivers of violence and receive much longer prison sentences than normal.

-Minority communities and law enforcement are given opportunities for reconciliation, partnership, and increased community policing efforts.


What It Is Not:

-Big police crackdowns. The strategy, if implemented well, results in less law enforcement and arrests. Neighborhood residents and outreach workers do the bulk of the hard work around changing community norms about violence.

-A gang suppression strategy. Law enforcement is used to stop groups that choose to continue to kill after being warned of legal consequences, told by their community to stop, and offered assistance.

-Exchanging good behavior for social assistance. It isn’t, “Stop shooting and we’ll get you a job.” It IS: “Shooting is unacceptable under any circumstances. We will help you in any way we can, but whether you have a job or not, violence is not the way we live in this community.”

-Hug-a-thug. The strategy values personal accountability, setting clear community standards, and having legal consequences when people choose to be violent. At the same time, it treats everyone with respect and as rational human beings.