City review finds problems with Baltimore’s flagship violence interruption program… After Safe Streets lost three interrupters to violence last year, many questioned whether the approach was worth it. A new city review acknowledges some of these problems, noting that the program lacked sufficient oversight and training. “There has historically been a lack of standardized policy coming out of the City government office responsible for the program,” the report reads. It also pointed to high turnover, consistent trauma, relatively low salaries — with Safe Streets workers earning between $40,000 and $45,000 — and frequent vacancies at some of the program’s 10 sites. More evaluations coming down the pike: Daniel Webster, who co-directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, is currently working with other researchers on a fuller study of the Safe Streets program that’s expected in 2023.
…as the mayor pledges reform and creation of a ‘community violence intervention ecosystem.’ “We know that it works, but they haven’t had the support they needed,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at an event releasing the city’s report and pledging $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support community-based violence prevention. The city also wants to invest more training, mental health support, and other resources like bulletproof vests to Safe Streets workers, Scott said, while also supporting additional violence outreach and help for gun violence victims. (Some Safe Streets workers previously told The Trace that they didn’t think the vests would help.) Scott’s plan includes hospital-based interventions and life coaching for people with a high chance of becoming involved with gun violence, as well as increased pay for Safe Streets workers.
Grand Rapids police release body camera footage of fatal police shooting. On April 4, a police officer fatally shot Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Congolese immigrant, in the back of the head after pulling him over. This week, the Grand Rapids Police Department released several videos that recorded the confrontation with the unidentified officer. Two showed the officer fatally shooting Lyoya after a struggle following the traffic stop. State Police are conducting a criminal investigation while the officer is on paid leave. The shooting has sparked citywide protests demanding justice for Lyoya, whose family said he was “killed like an animal.”
Study finds that increases in statewide gun ownership levels lead to more youth carrying. For every single percentage point increase in state gun ownership, there was a 2.7 percent increase in the odds of youth carrying, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Indianapolis. They reviewed biennial national survey data for 9th through 12th graders in the 22 states with sufficient data to conduct their study. “The present study found that adolescent gun carrying was significantly positively associated with household gun ownership, above and beyond the contributions of substance use, externalizing behavior, and victimization experience,” the authors write. “These findings have implications for clinicians and policy makers given their potential for promoting safe firearm storage practices, particularly in homes with at-risk youth.”
67 percent — the share of Safe Streets workers who reported being frequently worried about losing their job because of insufficient funding. Another 63 percent said they had been traumatized by their conflict mediations, and 60 percent said they were a victim of direct gun violence. [Internal review of the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement]