What Works in Reducing Community Violence
A meta-review and field study for the Northern Triangle
This report consists of the results of a systematic meta-review of 43 reviews, which included over 1,400 studies, performed in order to identify what works in reducing community violence. This review was supplemented with fieldwork in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the United States, comprised of visiting 20 sites and conducting over 50 semi-structured interviews.Interventions were clarified as either place, people, or behavior-based, and then described according to the strength of evidence, size of impact, relevant outcomes, intervention level, and sources.
"A key conclusion of this report is that the ‘available empirical and theoretical evidence suggests that crime is concentrated at a small number of high-risk places during high-risk times and generated by a small number of very risky people.' Further, ‘Crime should be analyzed in multiple units, or categories, including offenders, criminal networks, victims, micro-places(hot spots), communities, times, days of the week, and other categories.'"Via data collected during site visits, the authors identify six "elements of effectiveness": specificity, proactivity, legitimacy, capacity, theory, and partnership. Additionally, two strategies were identified from the meta-review that were most effective: focused deterrence and cognitive behavioral therapy.