Don't Shoot by David M. Kennedy
One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America

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Synopsis

Gang- and drug-related inner-city violence, with its attendant epidemic of incarceration, is the defining crime problem in our country. In some neighborhoods in America, one out of every two hundred young black men is shot to death every year, and few initiatives of government and law enforcement have made much difference. But when David Kennedy, a self-taught and then-unknown criminologist, engineered the "Boston Miracle" in the mid-1990s, he pointed the way toward what few had imagined: a solution. Don't Shoot tells the story of Kennedy's long journey. Riding with beat cops, hanging with gang members, and stoop-sitting with grandmothers, Kennedy found that all parties misunderstood each other, caught in a spiral of racialized anger and distrust. He envisioned an approach in which everyone-gang members, cops, and community members-comes together in what is essentially a huge intervention. Offenders are told that the violence must stop, that even the cops want them to stay alive and out of prison, and that even their families support swift law enforcement if the violence continues. In city after city, the same miracle has followed: violence plummets, drug markets dry up, and the relationship between the police and the community is reset. This is a landmark book, chronicling a paradigm shift in how we address one of America's most shameful social problems. A riveting, page-turning read, it combines the street vérité of The Wire, the social science of Gang Leader for a Day, and the moral urgency and personal journey of Fist Stick Knife Gun. But unlike anybody else, Kennedy shows that there could be an end in sight.
 

About David M. Kennedy

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David M. Kennedy is the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control and a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College. Kennedy has received two Webber Seavey awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, two Innovations in American Government awards from the Kennedy School of Government, and a Herman Goldstein Problem-Oriented Policing Award. His work has been used as a model or source for safety and drug intervention initiatives by the Clinton and Bush administrations, and by the Bureau of Justice. Kennedy lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 318 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Crime. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Don't Shoot

Kirkus Reviews

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Kennedy and a few key colleagues launched what became known as the Boston Miracle (a name not sanctioned by Kennedy, who emphasized that hard work, rather than divine intervention, created the results).

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Stree...

Publishers Weekly

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In a matter-of-fact, street-smart style, coming from years of working with police officers, gang members, and community workers in some of America's most dangerous neighborhoods, Kennedy, professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explains his remarkably effective strategies for comba...

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Stree...

The Wall Street Journal

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Mr. Kennedy is indeed an academic—before teaching at John Jay he did crime-prevention research at Harvard's Kennedy School—but for more than 25 years he has gone out with police officers on some of America's meanest streets.

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The Wall Street Journal

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By all means, bring the full weight of the criminal justice system down on the most violent and incorrigible wrong-doers.

Nov 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Stree...

The Washington Post

In the world of after-Ferguson (and after Eric Garner and Tamir Rice and all the rest), as we debate the harm done by police — which is real and must be corrected — Leovy focuses on the harms that come from those things undone by police.

Feb 21 2015 | Read Full Review of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Stree...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The program Kennedy created in response involved calling them into forums with police and a host of community workers and social service providers.

Oct 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Stree...

Daily Kos

- Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

Dec 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Don't Shoot: One Man, A Stree...

Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

Knowledgeable gang officers and streetworkers revealed that disagreements among certain members of rival gangs led to shootings, which then triggered vendetta shootings among other members of each gang.

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