What To Know Today
Fighting violence by fixing houses. In 1995, Philadelphia unveiled a program to give homeowners in primarily low-income minority neighborhoods up to $20,000 for structural home repairs. A new study in JAMA Network Open reviewed over 13,000 grant recipients between 2006 and 2013 found that neighborhood blocks where people got money for repairs recorded 22 percent fewer homicides and 22 percent less crime overall; all seven categories of crime they reviewed decreased when a block received this kind of funding. Vincent J. Reina, a co-author of the study and professor of urban planning at the University of Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg CityLab that the findings speak to the “need to structurally invest in systems and in units.”
NEW from THE TRACE: Chicagoans share what they need to heal from gun violence. Partnering with WBEZ’s Reset, we hosted a follow-up discussion to Lakeidra Chavis’ reporting in the Aftershocks series on people who survive gun violence. Guests included a teacher whose student was fatally shot, a trauma surgeon on the front lines of physical recovery, and a violence prevention advocate who tries to stop shootings before they happen. “Violence is not just someone picking up a gun,” said Lee Jenkins, who was shot at 17. “Gun violence doesn’t happen in a vacuum — we must address the racism, poverty, homelessness, school closings and lack of resources in our community if we truly want to help survivors.”
San Francisco will test a guaranteed wage to prevent gun violence. The Dream Keeper Fellowship set for rollout in October, will pair 10 people deemed to be at a high risk of being involved in gun violence with life coaches and provide them a baseline of $300 per month as an inducement to avoid crime. “It’s not necessarily as cut and dry as folks may think,” a local violence-prevention advocate told Newsweek. “It’s not as transactional as, ‘Here’s a few dollars so that you don’t do something bad,’ but it really is about how you help us improve public safety in the neighborhood.” Related from the Trace: The program is similar to the Advance Peace model, which launched in Richmond, California, and has since spread to several other places, including New York City.
Prosecutor declares Black Missouri man “actually innocent” after 43 years in prison for a fatal shooting. Kevin Strickland has languished in prison for a 1979 triple shooting homicide, despite his repeated claims of innocence. Now, the Jackson County prosecutor writes in a new filing that his “innocence is clear and convincing,” a remarkable development that was possible because of a new state law allowing prosecutors to review past convictions in their districts. “Kevin Strickland stands as our own example of what happens when a system set to be just, just gets it terribly wrong,” the prosecutor said in a press release. Earlier this month, Missouri Governor Mike Parson declined to pardon Strickland. “For more than 40 years since, Strickland has worked to evade responsibility,” the state AG’s office wrote earlier this year.
Los Angeles moves to institute a ghost gun ban. In a unanimous vote, the City Council instructed the City Attorney’s Office to craft an ordinance prohibiting the ownership, sale, and transfer of unfinished ghost gun kits and the manufacture of guns without serial numbers. Ghost guns accounted for more than one-third of crime guns recovered by the Los Angeles police in 2020. The new law follows similar bans in San Diego and San Francisco.
Texas’s permitless carry law goes into effect. The bill, signed in June, eliminates the need for permits or training to carry handguns for all people over 21. In the past two decades, dozens of states with GOP-led legislatures have passed such laws.
43 percent — the portion of fatal shootings Chicago Police designated as gang-related last year, down from a high-water mark of 70 percent in 2015. [The Trace]