Jeffrey Butts, a director of research at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, co-wrote an ongoing analysis of Cure Violence’s presence in high-crime New York City neighborhoods and found that homicide rates are on a downward trend in three areas that employed the interrupters in Brooklyn and in northern Manhattan.
“They can form relationships in high-violence communities that police, social workers and ministers simply can’t,” Butts said.
The issues in Chicago and in Baltimore didn’t impede officials in New York from expanding Cure Violence across the state under Operation SNUG.
The state Division of Criminal Justice Services oversees ten SNUG offices and the city Department of Health and City Council funds sites in 14 police precincts.
Shawanna Vaughn thought she had landed her dream job in November, joining New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $12.7 million plan to curtail the bloodshed produced by the city’s deadly mix of street beefs and guns.
The 36-year-old mother of two went to work as a violence interrupter for Harlem SNUG (that’s guns spelled backwards), part of a nationwide program called Cure Violence that treats urban crime as a contagious disease.Hardiman sounds disenchanted with the organization’s approach. Cure Violence spokeswoman Kathy Buettner declined to comment on the problems in specific cities and defended the program’s continued mission of sending ex-offenders into rough neighborhoods to stem shootings.“We are training and retraining all the time,” Buettner said.earned 10 Academy Award nominations, and won two Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Song, "The Hands That Built America" by U2 (The Cast and the Plot The three main characters in are Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo Di Caprio), William Cutting aka Bill 'the Butcher' (Daniel Day-Lewis), and Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz).In late February, Vaughn told a program director with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice that Harlem SNUG employs active members of the Bloods gang and a subsidiary group called Shine Love, a street crew based out of a nearby public housing development.In an interview with The Marshall Project, Vaughn said neighborhood drug dealers used the SNUG office bathroom to deal narcotics.But the Baltimore Health Department closed the Safe Streets office in December 2013 after police arrested an outreach worker for carrying a handgun. The Drug Enforcement Agency accused Barksdale of being a heroin dealer for the Black Guerilla Mafia.Chicago cut funding for the program in that city (still called Cease Fire) after police grew suspicious that employees, many of whom were former felons, had returned to a criminal lifestyle, and after Tio Hardiman, the organization’s Illinois director was arrested for punching his wife (the charges were later dropped). You gotta have people who haven’t broken the law,” Hardiman told The Marshall Project.The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has a prosecutor looking into her allegations.Sarah Solon, a spokeswoman for Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, confirmed city officials are also investigating.