David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy is a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and the director of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay. Mr. Kennedy and the National Network support cities implementing strategic interventions to reduce violence, minimize arrest and incarceration, enhance police legitimacy, and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities. These interventions have been proven effective in a variety of settings, have amassed a robust evaluation record, and are widely employed nationally and internationally.

Mr. Kennedy was a principal in the Boston Gun Project in the mid-1990s, which pioneered a high-level action-research approach to public safety and the groundbreaking “Operation Ceasefire” homicide prevention strategy, and from which Kennedy developed the “focused deterrence” intervention framework. He has developed interventions focused on group and gang violence, individual violent offenders, intimate partner violence, street drug markets, opioid markets, prison safety, and other public safety issues.  He has worked with numerous cities and states, and with the federal government to design and implement the Treasury Department’s Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative and the Department of Justice’s Strategic Approaches to Community Safety Initiative; Drug Market Intervention Program; and National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.  He launched John Jay’s Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, now a stand-alone entity at the college. Mr. Kennedy’s work has won two Ford Foundation Innovations in Government awards, two Webber Seavey Awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and two Herman Goldstein Awards for Problem-Oriented Policing. He was awarded the 2011 Hatfield Scholar Award for scholarship in the public interest.

He is the author of Don’t Shoot, One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City AmericaDeterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction, co-author of Beyond 911: A New Era for Policing, and a wide range of articles on group and gang violence, drug markets, domestic violence, firearms trafficking, deterrence theory, crime prevention, police/community relations, and other public safety issues, as well as on action-research methodology. The monograph A Framework for Addressing Violence and Serious Crime: Focused Deterrence, Legitimacy, and Prevention, co-authored with Anthony Braga, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.

Additional Resources