Dr. David Kennedy of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government will speak at CSU Monterey Bay on March 28 as the President’s Speaker Series continues.
Dr. Kennedy is director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former director of the Boston Gun Project. A self-taught criminologist, he has devoted his career to reducing gang- and drug-related violence.
He has been profiled by 60 Minutes and the New Yorker, and has been decorated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Strategies developed by Dr. Kennedy and his colleagues in the Boston Gun Project and applied there in Operation Ceasefire in the mid-1990s have been implemented in violence-prone neighborhoods in more than 50 cities from coast to coast.
Starting with the premise that most gun violence involves a small number of individuals in gangs or neighborhood groups that have beefs with each other, the strategy involves identifying those individuals, calling them in to hear from community representatives and law enforcement personnel, and making it clear there will be substantial social benefits if they don't shoot and very tough sanctions if they do.
His approach relies more on getting criminals to alter their behavior than locking them up. And it has been successful – the sharp decline in Boston’s youth homicide rate has been christened "The Boston Miracle."
His presentation will get under way at 3:30 p.m. in the World Theater on Sixth Avenue near A Street. Driving directions and a campus map are available here.
The community is invited to this free event. No tickets are necessary, but reservations are requested. Please RSVP by calling the World Theater box office at 582-4580, or going online.
The series, with the theme “Flourish Monterey County,” concludes on April 9 with a visit from Jeff Edmondson of Strive Together, a national organization that works to improve the cradle-to-career pipeline. The series kicked off on March 4 with a presentation by Mary Jo Waits, director of the Economic, Human Services and Workforce Division of the National Governors Association. Her topic: “Leveraging Universities in Regional Economic Development.”
Dr. Kennedy was interviewed on NPR on Nov. 1, 2011. Read a transcript of the interview here.