POP Center Responses Focused Deterrence Page 15

Appendix: Evaluated Focused-Deterrence Initiatives                                             

This table summarizes focused-deterrence initiatives that have been evaluated at the time of publication, briefly describing the jurisdiction in which it was launched, its years of operation, the type of offenses it aimed to address, the FDI name, its effectiveness, the research design, and the publication reference. Each FDI has unique features: you should read the detailed studies to learn which features might work well in your community.



Targeted Offenses

Initiative Name

How Effective?

Research Design


Boston, Massachusetts




Gang-related gun violence

Boston Gun Project / Operation Ceasefire

Youth gang violence decline of 63% citywide (statistically significant reductions in homicides, shots fired, gun assaults, youth gun assaults); positive effects held for 5 years until initiative was significantly diluted (Braga et al., 2001)

Some evidence that homicide reductions were significant and associated with the focused-deterrence intervention (Rosenfeld et al. 2005).

Time-series analysis; quasi-experiment (Braga et al., 2001)

Braga, Kennedy, Waring, & Piehl (2001); Rosenfeld, Fornango & Baumer (2005); von Ulmenstein & Sultan (2011) (case study narrative)

Boston, Massachusetts


Gang-related gun violence

Operation Ceasefire

Statistically significant 31%-reduction in shootings by targeted street gangs, compared to non-targeted gangs (Braga et al., 2014)

Quasi-experiment and growth-curve regression modeling

Braga, Apel, & Welsh (2013; Braga, Hureau, & Papachristos (2014)

Chicago, Illinois


Gun violence (initiative also entailed gun-interdiction and prosecution strategies)

Chicago’s Project Safe Neighborhoods

37%-reduction in homicides in target areas; 16-34%–reduction in shootings in target areas; little impact on aggravated assault & battery rates, however; evaluation concluded that focused-deterrence strategy likely accounted for most of the positive impact


  Papachristos, Meares, & Fagan (2007); Skogan et al. (2009)

Chicago, Illinois


Gang-related gun violence

Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy (initiative appears to be targeted and intensive law enforcement without community or social-service interventions)

(Insufficient information available)


von Ulmenstein & Sultan (2011) (case study narrative only)

Cincinnati, Ohio


Gang-related gun violence

Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence

61%-reduction in homicides involving targeted offenders’ groups 6 months after implementation; however, over time, percentage homicide reduction declined to 35%


Engel et al. (2008, 2009, 2010); von Ulmenstein & Sultan (2011) (case study narrative)

High Point, North Carolina


Drug market and drug-related crime

High Point Drug Market Intervention

26%-reduction in drug-related crime and 57%-reduction in violent crime in initial targeted neighborhood 4-5 years after initial intervention, with no evidence of spatial displacement and some evidence of a diffusion of benefits to nearby areas; similar results obtained for two of three additional neighborhoods; 57% of targeted offenders were charged with some crime after the intervention, and few showed evidence of turning their lives around, but most stopped drug dealing; 12-18%–reductions in violence in targeted areas was statistically significant when compared to non-targeted areas within the city, with little evidence of displacement of violence to other areas, but little evidence of a diffusion of benefits, either

Pre-post intervention analysis; multiple longitudinal methods

High Point Police Department (2000, 2006); Dalton (2003); Frabutt et al. (2009); Frabutt et al. (2004) (process evaluation only); Kennedy & Wong (2009); Corsaro et al. (2012)

Indianapolis, Indiana


Gun violence

Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership

Homicides declined by a statistically significant 34% immediately after implementation, through one year

Time-series analysis; quasi-experiment

Chermak & McGarrell (2004); McGarrell et al. (2006); Corsaro & McGarrell (2009a);

Corsaro & McGarrell (2010)

Kansas City, Missouri


Homicide and aggravated assault with a firearm

Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA)

Statistically significant 27% reduction in monthly average number of homicides; statistically insignificant 6% reduction in monthly average number of aggravated assaults with a firearm, but effect diminished over time

Time series and bivariate analysis

Novak et al. (2015)

Los Angeles


Gang-related crime, including violent gun crime in East L.A. neighbor-hood


Some reductions in gang-related crime, including violent crime in target area; some evidence of diffusion of benefits, and no evidence of displacement to adjacent areas


Tita et al. (2003); Tita, Riley, & Greenwood (2003)

Lowell, Massachusetts


Gang-related gun violence

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Statistically significant 24%-reduction of gun assaults and 50%-reduction of gun homicides after implementation


Braga, McDevitt, & Pierce (2006); Braga et al. (2008); von Ulmenstein & Sultan (2011) (case study narrative)

Madison, Wisconsin


Repeat violent offenders

Community Against Violence

(internal assessment only; not yet formally evaluated)

(internal assessment only; not yet formally evaluated)

(internal assessment only; not yet formally evaluated)

Minneapolis, Minnesota





Time-series analysis

Kennedy & Braga (1998)

Nashville, Tennessee


Drug market and drug-related crime (with relatively low levels of violent crime) in McFerrin Park neighbor-hood

Nashville Drug Market Initiative

Statistically significant 55%-reduction in illegal drug-possession incidents, 28%-reduction in property crimes, 18%-reduction in police calls for service, and no reduction in reported violent crime in target area, with evidence of some diffusion of benefits to nearby areas

Quasi-experiment; time-series analysis

Corsaro & McGarrell (2009b)



Gun-related violence

Operation Ceasefire

Small, but statistically insignificant, reduction in gunshot admissions to area hospitals

Time-series analyses

Boyle et al. (2010)

New Orleans


Gun-related violence

Group Violence Reduction Strategy

Statistically significant 17-31% reduction in homicides, compared to other, comparable cities and compared to pre-intervention period within the jurisdiction, with greatest reductions in gang-related, firearm-related, and young Black male-victim homicides

Two-phase quasi-experiment; time-series analysis

Corsaro & Engel (2015)

New York City


Gun-related violence in Brownsville, Brooklyn neighbor-hood

Brownsville Anti-Violence Project

(Impact evaluation not complete)

(Impact evaluation not complete)

Picard-Fritsche, Swaner, & Lambson (2014) (process evaluation only)

Providence, Rhode Island


Drug market and drug-related crime


Calls for police service in target area declined 58%, drug-related crime by 70%, and drug complaints by 81% one year after intervention

Simple before-after comparison

Kennedy & Wong (2009) (reporting the data)

Rochester, New York


Homicides of young Black males (many of whom were related to interpersonal disputes and drug-related robberies)

Project Ceasefire

Statistically significant, but modest, reductions in homicides and robberies of young Black males after intervention, but subsequent increases in homicides cast doubt on intervention’s effectiveness; a reduction of homicides of young Black males from 29 to 9 over one year (2003–2004) was a promising development, but aggravated assault rates remained steady

Multiple regression analysis

Delaney (2006); Klofas, Delaney, & Smith (2005)

Rockford, Illinois


Drug market and drug-related crime  in Delancey Heights neighbor-hood

Rockford Pulling Levers Deterrence Strategy

Statistically significant 22%-reduction in non-violent offenses; non-statistically significant 14%-reduction in violent offenses


Corsaro, Brunson, & McGarrell (2009)

Stockton, California


Gang-related gun violence

Operation Peacekeeper

Significant 35%-reduction in gun homicides, with some effects lasting at least several months beyond the intervention

Time-series analysis and quasi-experiment

Wakeling (2003); Braga (2008)

Winston-Salem, North Carolina


Drug market and drug-related crime

New Hope Initiative

Approximately 8%-increase in violent crimes and decrease of 30% in property crimes in target area 3 years after initial intervention

Pre-post intervention analysis

Dalton (2003); Frabutt et al. (2009); Harvey (2005) (process evaluation only)