In the spring of 1998, Attorney General Reno asked that a U.S. Department of Justice Work Group review existing efforts to reduce gun violence to identify key programs and strategies. This Work Group -- consisting of representatives of the Offices of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and Associate Attorney General, the Executive Office of United States Attorneys; the Criminal Division; the Office of Policy Development; the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; the Office of Justice Programs; the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the National Institute of Justice; and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) -- has worked with COSMOS Corporation to identify, review, and describe promising and demonstrated strategies to reduce gun violence.
Under a grant from OJJDP, COSMOS Corporation, a research firm specializing in criminal justice policy issues, was tasked with building on an initial assessment of youth gun programs OJJDP published in 1996 and surveying the country to identify additional promising practices and strategies to reduce gun violence. This Report is the culmination of this survey and followup site visits to several communities. It could not have been completed without the dedication of COSMOS Corporation staff who worked tirelessly on this Report. A special thanks to David Sheppard, the primary author and project director at COSMOS. Others at COSMOS assisting Dr. Sheppard include Darci Terrell, the Project Coordinator, Michael Cannon, Elizabeth Earl, Heath Grant, Patricia Kelly, Joe Randolph, Ann Reese, Wendy Rowe, Pamela Schaal, Pat Thibeaux, Emily Warner, Alicia Williams, and Patricia Zangrillo.
A special note of appreciation is offered to Paul Kingery and Lisa Murphy from Hamilton Fish National Institute on School and Community Violence, The George Washington University; Glenn Pierce from the Center of Criminal Justice Policy, Northeastern University; Jeffrey Roth from The Urban Institute; Edmund McGarrell from the Hudson Institute, Indiana University; and Arthur Kellermann from the Center for Injury Control, Emory University; all of whom contributed to the writing and editing of this Report.
Gratitude must also be expressed to the many communities that have cooperated with us throughout this process and greeted our site visit teams with enthusiasm. Many sites completed extensive telephone surveys, and several hosted site visit teams for several days. Although more than 400 programs and strategies were identified, we have selected only 60 promising programs and strategies for inclusion in this Report. Without a doubt, there are many others throughout the country that are attacking the gun violence problem. The fact that they are not listed here should not be considered a negative reflection on these programs.
Finally, I must acknowledge the invaluable input from national experts who came to Washington, D.C., in July 1998 to participate in a Focus Group on Gun Violence Reduction Strategies. More than 40 criminologists, public health experts, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, mayors, and foundation representatives came together to review the first drafts of the Report and to discuss a variety of strategies to reduce gun violence. Their thoughtful discussions and recommendations were vital to the success of this Report.