Understanding Homicide and Gun Violence

Understanding Homicide and Gun Violence
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-06-20
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Understanding Homicide and Gun Violence
Unit 2Transcript: Understanding Homicide and Gun Violence
Unit 3Workbook: Understanding Homicide and Gun Violence
Unit 4Recording: Understanding Homicide and Gun Violence

The belief that homicide and gun violence are random cannot be further from the truth. Upon analysis of historical data on homicide and gun violence, these incidents are found to be not evenly distributed, but concentrated in specific communities and locations which has persisted for generations.

Leading the conversation is David Kennedy, Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is also the Director of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay where he supports cities in implementing strategic interventions to reduce violence and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities.

Specifics he discussed in this session include:

  • Two main approaches to violence prevention and how neither produced the desired result of eliminating criminal groups and preventing violence.
  • How an evidence-based approach of focused deterrence targeted concentrations of violence and lead to reductions in homicide and gun violence in various locations.
  • Facts and figures on violence that demonstrate:
    • The characteristics of communities where violence perpetration and victimization are rampant.
    • The specific groups that drive violence and how they comprise a mere 1% of the jurisdiction’s population.
  • A rundown of the nature of the street groups that are responsible for violence, their style of offending, and the motivation for the violence.
  • Data analyses based on offender criminal histories, groups, and connections between individuals that provide insights into the dynamics of violence.
  • The significant risk group members face and how this very risk drives violence as individuals seek to defend themselves and their loved ones in the absence of effective community protection.
  • How addressing violence today is crucial in preventing future violence, as exposure to violence and engaging in violent behaviors allows it to be normalized.
  • What legitimacy is, how it leads to greater voluntary compliance with the law and helps address homicide and gun violence.
  • How legitimacy is affected by past and present harm from police then creates fractured relationships between them and the communities they serve.
  • How intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant driver of violence, its impact on the victims, the community and the justice system, and its prevalence.
  • How available IPV interventions don’t work, and criminal justice response is ineffective and if anything, only further burdens the victims and put them at risk.
  • How officers are likewise put at risk in IPV-related calls.
  • How IPV offenders are no different from other violent offenders and how the profile of IPV offenders intersect with offenders of homicide and other violent crimes.
  • The concentration of gun violence in specific locations which tends to be stable over decades and is not random.
  • How mass shootings, specifically active shootings are a completely separate and unpredictable problem.

Questions raised by the webinar participants are about:

  • The segments where the increase of the risk by up to 900% apply to.
  • Agencies and cities that are getting it right when it comes to addressing gun violence.



Webinars with this Speaker


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming ASEBP webinars on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “A great presentation! Professor Kennedy did a fantastic job in setting up his topics with questions to the audience and then explained the correct answers with statistical support and information. I hope to see many more presentations similar to this one.” — Billy
  • “All topics were valuable to our agency due to the clients we work with. Thank you for your time and knowledge.” — Sandra
  • “Thanks, it was a great webinar. The information regarding IPV was very interesting.” — Brenda
  • “This has been very informative. It’s great seeing the data to support some of the conclusions I’ve drawn from working in the field and it’s also great to have some misconceptions corrected. I’ll be emailing some questions to Dave soon. Thanks so much. Very well done.” — Matt
  • “I appreciated the approach of looking at violence from the lens of “groups” and associations of victims/offenders within the group clusters. Great data to better understand the issue at large.” — Jason
  • “I thought the distinction between the coined media term of “mass shootings” v “active shooters” was very helpful. And learning that the distinction is necessary so that we can separate and provide attention to the communities that are more at risk for gun violence/violence in general with more care and direction. Thank you so much for this presentation!” — Ashleigh







This webinar is part of the JCH Summer School Program. From June 1-August 31, 2023, attendees will receive a certificate of attendance via email about one hour after the conclusion of a webinar.

Want to join us for other Summer School webinars? Check out our Summer School Calendar and register today!




The American Society of EvidenceBased Policing is a non-profit organization started by working police officers designed to drive the national conversation towards ensuring that the least harmful, most effective, fairest, and safest strategies are employed to prevent crime, reduce harm, and improve community wellness.





Additional Resources
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