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Assessing the Long-Term Impact of Focused Deterrence in New Orleans: A Documentation of Changes in Homicides and Firearm Recoveries

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2018
11 pages

This is the executive summary of the findings and methodology of a research project that examined the impact in New Orleans of a strategic gun-violence intervention.


In 2012, New Orleans adopted and implemented the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS), which draws on the focused deterrence theoretical framework to reduce gang and gun-related homicides. The GVRS is designed as a collaborative problem-solving initiative that relies on data collection and strategic intelligence to provide a deterrence-based message to individuals and gangs determined to be at high risk for gun violence. The current evaluation of this effort examined overall violence patterns in New Orleans from 2010 through 2016, extending previous analyses by examining firearm recovery data. Multiple data sources and analytical methodologies were used in the evaluation, including a process assessment, phone interviews, site visits to New Orleans, the use of geographic information systems to model changes in the location of crime patterns, the use of offender criminal histories, ATF data on tracing and firearms recovered. social network analysis, and interrupted time series modeling of crime outcomes. This evaluation found that the pooling of resources to focus on the most violent groups of offenders at the onset of the intervention apparently had the largest impact on firearms violence. The largest proportion of high-risk offenders were notified within the first 12 to 15 months of the post-intervention period, with fewer offenders being included in the strategy over time. The interrupted time series models indicated that firearms violence had a substantive and statistically significant reduction early in the post-intervention period, with diminished returns over time. These findings highlight the challenge of programmatic process sustainability, particularly the timely collection and use of relevant data. This report suggests ways to improve the implementation longevity of focused deterrence.

Date Published: October 1, 2018