NYC Public Advocate, Mayor Announce Pilot Program To 'Advance Peace,' Prevent Gun Violence

March 15th, 2021

Press Release

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams joined Mayor Bill de Blasio today to announce a pilot program to prevent gun violence in New York City under the Advance Peace model. In this model, the City will conduct outreach in areas with elevated levels of gun violence to identify youth and pair them with mentors who provide them with tangible goals for the next 18 months, such as a drivers' license or a GED. Participants who achieve their goals receive a monetary stipend. The Public Advocate first proposed introducing this strategy in the summer of 2020.

Public Advocate Williams released the following statement on the announcement of the pilot program, which will launch in July of 2021 in five precincts citywide: the 46th Precinct in the Bronx, the 114th Precinct in Queens, the 26th Precinct in Manhattan, the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn, and the 120th Precinct in Staten Island.

"We all have a part to play in co-producing public safety, and healing old wounds and building new partnerships will require bold actions. It is not enough to react to violence, we need to advance peace, and this pilot program is an opportunity to demonstrate the power of not only this program, but these principles of public safety. I thank the Mayor for agreeing to fund this initiative, and recognizing the need to implement strategies that will support community safety, treat community trauma, and build community strength. The Advance Peace Model is an important next step in our efforts to reduce violence in our city by creating a deeper level of mentorship between our violence interrupters and young New Yorkers and providing tangible opportunities and incentives. It has seen great success in other cities, and I believe that by building on New York's existing crisis management infrastructure we can see even greater benefit."

"The last year has demonstrated in stark and tragic terms the intersection of public health and public safety. As COVID-19 has exposed and exploited ingrained failures of our healthcare systems, in the streets and on our screens we have seen the demand to completely reimagine public safety. After witnessing the incredible results achieved through the Crisis Management System, we must continue to innovate in our work toward this goal, and I'm eager to put this model into action and save lives. Investing in this program right now isn't only a moral obligation, it's a governing imperative."

The Advance Peace model has seen great success in other cities around the country including Stockton and Sacramento, California.  A peer-reviewed study of the implementation of Advance Peace in Sacramento demonstrates a 27% reduction in gun violence in the program's catchment area over 2 years. Statistical analysis shows that this reduction was a direct causation, rather than a correlation.

Further, the study demonstrates that the program created significant budget savings for Sacramento. When evaluating the number of gun violence incidents the program prevented, the study found that the program's $1.4 million expenditure over 2 years created a minimum of $25 million in City savings. Early results in Stockton and Richmond show similarly encouraging results.  Since the Richmond program's inception, the City has seen a 60-82% reduction in gun related deaths and injuries.

"It is with great optimism and enthusiasm that we embrace this most recent addition to our arsenal of community focused public safety tools. We look forward to the inclusion of the Advance Peace, evidence-based model into our human justice and cure violence work. We, the leadership of the anti-gun violence movement across the City of New York would like to thank both our Mayor and our Public Advocate for being both innovative and forward thinking and making this important investment into keeping New York the safest big city in the nation," said K. Bain, Co-Founder of the NYC Crisis Management System and Executive Director of  Community Capacity Development.

"The Advance Peace Model is much of what we hold dear in the work we do: relationship building, changing norms, redirecting resources, and creating support systems for people from all walks of life. Integrating this program would reinforce and enhance the principles we've been loyal to for years. I am looking forward to welcoming it into NYC," said Iesha Sekou, CEO and Founder at Street Corner Resources.

"Advance Peace seeks to bridge the gap between anti-violence programs and reaching highest risk youth; I believe exploring this opportunity in the New York City for the Crisis Management System to operationalize could potentially be a turning point in the right direction," said David Caba, Director of Programs at B.R.A.G.

"In a country where the number one cause of  death for young black males is homicide, we need to continue to  implement new strategies from across the country like Advance Peace. This model incentivizes personal development and career driven goals, so gun violence is not only unnecessary but is out of question," said AT Mitchell, Co-Founder of the NYC Crisis Management System Founder/ Executive Director at Man Up! Inc.

"The key point of Advance Peace is understanding that creating transformational opportunities for young people can break the cycle of resorting to violence. We need more anti-gun violence initiatives, I'm in full support," said 'Iron Mike' Perry, Program Manager of True 2 Life Staten Island.

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