Police, Black Churches, and the Resurgence of Youth Violence in Boston

June 30, 2008

Anthony A. Braga (Senior Research Associate, Harvard Kennedy School) David Hureau (Research Associate, Harvard Kennedy School) and Christopher Winship (Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology, Harvard University)

This paper was revised in October 2008.

Since the glory days of the 1990s, the so-called “Boston Miracle” appears to have unraveled. Over the course of the early years of the new millennium, youth violence has, once again, risen dramatically in Boston. Given this rise, the obvious question is whether the Boston approach to youth violence is as effective as previously thought. Put in other words, has the period since 2000 provided a test of the Boston model with a negative evaluation now being warranted given the rise of violence during part of this past decade? In this paper, the authors address the above question by presenting an analysis of recent efforts by the Boston Police Department and Ten Point Coalition to prevent youth violence.

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