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The Detroit Handgun Intervention Program: A Court-Based Program for Youthful Handgun Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1998
0 pages

This is a video of a lecture presented by Jeffrey Roth and Judge Willie Lipscomb regarding Roth's evaluation-in-progress of Detroit's Handgun Intervention Program (HIP), which is designed to prevent handgun violence in black urban neighborhoods.


HIP targets young African-American males who have been arrested for a concealed-weapon offense once or twice. The program includes the presentation of slides of handgun victims to impress upon HIP participants the nature of handgun violence. The program also provides information on guns and the high risk of violence that comes from carrying a gun. Presentations by older felons are designed to persuade HIP participants to turn from their ways before it is too late. The evaluation research used an experimental group (n=446) and a control group to determine whether the program achieved a change of attitudes in seven general areas. These categories are risks/benefits of guns, inevitability of gun violence, ethical considerations, status motivations, personal responsibility, situational avoidance, and knowledge of gun risks. Based on a before-and-after measurement of attitudes among HIP participants, the study found statistically significant movements in the anticipated direction for 19 of 21 attitudes, suggesting that HIP does change participant attitudes regarding handguns and handgun violence over the short term. Discussions with six focus groups of HIP participants, however, suggest that they may have difficulty over the long term, given the strong influence in urban neighborhoods to use handguns for self-protection. The evaluation is working on a structure for measuring rearrests among experimental and control group members. Judge Lipscomb of Michigan's 36th District Court discusses the program elements and some of its impacts on participants. Questions from the audience are included in the video.

Date Published: November 1, 1998