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Diagnostic Analysis for the City of Durham: Opportunities for Evidence-Based Technical Assistance

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2015
44 pages
This is the executive summary of a report on the training and technical assistance (TTA) provided by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) Diagnostic Center to the City of Durham, NC, in response to its request for TTA that will develop strategies that are data-driven and effective in reducing violent crime and gun violence, as well as improving community-police relations.
Durham's request for TTA stemmed from recent increases in homicides and aggravated assaults, even as overall crime decreased. The diagnosis of the issues to be addressed has been completed. It collected and analyzed violent crime and gun-related crime data to identify patterns and trends. It also conducted on-site interviews of criminal justice and community stakeholders and identified training and technical assistance to strengthen strategies for reducing violent crime and gun violence, as well as improving community-police relations. Overall rates of both homicide and aggravated assault increased in Durham from 2009 through 2013; however, rates of homicide and aggravated assault not involving guns trended downward. Gun-related homicides and aggravated assaults tended to occur in the same areas with high poverty rates, low educational attainment, and communities of color. The Diagnostic Center identified model practices to address the contributing factors revealed in the diagnosis phase. Specifically, it identified several model programs for gun-violence reduction and youth-violence prevention. Using these model practices and examples, the Diagnostic Center prepared several recommendations for Durham. These include 1) a coordinated community response to gun violence; 2) ways to improve community confidence in DPD; 3) long-term , proactive strategies to address gun violence; and 4) give priority to community engagement and collaboration that integrates principles of community policing at all departmental levels.