On Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast, Emily Bazelon discusses our recent report on why young people in Brooklyn, New York, carry guns. In the show’s “cocktail chatter” segment, Bazelon touches on the four types of gun-carriers identified in the study, the pervasive sense of fear that drives some young people towards guns, and other insights from the report.
The first in a series of studies into the roots of gun-carrying in four major cities, our recent report identifies fear as the main reason young people in Brooklyn, New York say they carry a gun. Only by specifically addressing this population’s needs—and building trust with respected community members—can gun violence prevention programs hope to achieve their goals.
“It’s not about being cool or being tough. It’s just more about being safe.” In-depth conversations we had with 103 young gun-carriers in Brooklyn, New York (ages 15 to 24), reveal that they primarily carry guns out of fear. In its daily bulletin, The Trace discusses our new study—entitled “Two Battlefields”: Opps, Cops, and NYC Youth Gun Culture—and explores how its findings tie into other recent research on guns in youth culture.
Amid a spike in violence among youth, a team of researchers from the Center spoke to 100 young people living in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, about why they carry guns. Their answers singled out fear—for their own lives and the lives of their loved ones—as the main factor driving their gun-carrying. The New York Daily News quotes one 19-year-old boy who spoke with our researchers in the landmark study: “My biggest fear is somebody coming for me and they can’t get to me, they try to get to my family.”
Elise White, Basaime Spate, and Javonte Alexander—researchers with the Center—join WNYC to discuss their recent study on why young New Yorkers are carrying guns. It’s fear, above all, that drives these young people towards gun-carrying, and hearing what they have to say is a crucial step towards more effective strategies to stop gun violence. “When we’re talking about gangs and guns, we really got to bring in the gangs, bring in the Big Homies, and give them a platform or a table to speak at,” Basaime Spate said.
Gun violence spiked during the pandemic in 2020, making headlines, but little is known about why young people carry guns in the first place. In a new study exclusively previewed by Gothamist, our researchers worked to change that, asking 100 young people from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, why they carry. Hear from the research team about how they gained these young people’s trust, the fear that drives youth towards guns, and what policymakers can learn by listening to young gun-carriers.
In this article, our Director of Treatment Court Programs Monica Christofferson comments on the increasing acceptance of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in the drug court system. The story follows Tennessee Judge O. Duane Slone, his pilot programs with MOUD, and the successful recoveries of participants like Rachel Solomon. In short, as Christofferson put it: “MOUD works.”
Today, people in New York City are more than four times more likely to be released through supervised release as compared to cash bail. The Gothamist covers how the city's supervised release program has grown exponentially since bail reform went into effect in 2020. And explores its approach to keeping people out of jail by connecting them to resources and support while awaiting trial.
Mandatory minimums place a fixed minimum prison sentence on certain criminal cases, effectively making incarceration automatic. From the systematic harm they cause to Black and Brown communities, to the unfair bargaining power they confer on prosecutors, to their inability to make communities safer, there are many reasons to oppose these laws. With decisive reform on the table, see our op-ed in New York Daily News for the case against mandatory minimum sentences.
Los Angeles County’s jails house a staggering number of people with mental illnesses, where these conditions go untreated and can even get worse. Under the county’s Rapid Diversion Program, operated in partnership with the Center, more than 1,500 people have been given the chance to receive treatment in their communities instead. So far, 350 people have graduated from the program to see their charges reduced or dropped.