Conflict Intervention as Crime Prevention

Report Author

Justin R. Corbett

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Table of Contents

Mechanism of Impact

Conspicuous Contingencies

Conspicuous contingencies is the idea that conflict-assistive organizations reduce criminal activity by being known, accessible alternatives. Achieving conspicuity requires a mix of targeted and broad public awareness raising efforts and results in individuals opting into assistive services instead of further escalating their contentious situations.

Direct targeting of specific service recipients – as is required in Catchment Areas – is a notoriously labor-intensive approach to awareness raising. It requires knowledge of the targets and their influence networks, access to those networks, and both legitimacy and resonance of the message and messenger. With its naturally embedded staff and volunteers, regular involvement in community-oriented social events, and purposeful presence within the housing development and surrounding community, RHPP has shown itself particularly effective at this form of hyper-local outreach. In it’s own style, IMCR has on occasion arranged staff outside its offices during the bustling local hub’s busy lunch hours to engage passersby as an impromptu quick-tip dispensary featuring mediation barkers and good ol’ fashioned shoe-leather outreach.

Raising public awareness at scale is a different challenge altogether, particularly in NYC’s fiercely competitive market for public attention. Still, through its personable mastery of social media, NYPI has found an effective way to rise above the City’s cacophonous din, securing its placement onto the screens and into the minds of over 1,200 viewers every day.358

While achieving conspicuity is an endless, challenging undertaking, the benefits of being top of mind when conflicts erupt can mean the difference between de-escalation, detention, or even death.


358. An analysis of NYPI’s Twitter account from May 2015 to April 2016 surfaced 542 tweets generating nearly 450,000 total impressions and averaging over 1,200 impressions daily.