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Reducing Gun Violence: Community Problem Solving in Atlanta

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2006
40 pages
Publication Series
This report describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of Atlanta's (Georgia) Project PACT (Pulling America's Communities Together), which involved a problemsolving approach for reducing juvenile gun violence.
During the 6 years after the project began, from 1995 through 2000, the number of homicides in Atlanta decreased by 27 percent; the 134 homicides recorded in 2000 were the lowest number in the city in 30 years. Before-and-after surveys of adult residents also showed less concern among respondents about the severity of juvenile violence in the city. The most notable decrease in homicide was in Fulton County, the PACT intervention site. Still, the decline in homicides could not be attributed directly to PACT, because Atlanta's homicide count began to decrease 2 years before the intervention began, and a number of the strategies planned for the program were not implemented as designed. Also, the decrease in homicides in the intervention sites was similar to the pattern statewide over the same period. PACT was a U.S. Department of Justice program model designed to help diverse institutions in a community collaborate on public safety issues. PACT's problem solving approach involved identifying an issue, obtaining detailed data in order to measure the extent and nature of the problem, designing an intervention, monitoring its implementation, modifying or otherwise refining the intervention, and measuring its impact. Atlanta's PACT Project identified homicide, gun violence, and juvenile crime as the major community concerns. PACT's problem solving approach led to the development of a coalition of Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, with the Atlanta Police Department being the lead agency. The strategy developed included traffic stops, directed patrol, and Federal prosecution of adult gun traffickers. Lessons are drawn for other communities. 7 exhibits, 21 notes, and 11 suggested readings

Date Published: June 1, 2006