Conflict Intervention as Crime Prevention
Table of Contents
The ability of service providers to prevent crime, fear, and disorder is directly and dependently linked to MOCJ’s active support of those efforts. That support is demonstrated through official policies, funding priorities and allocations, in/formal provider-oriented advocacy, and a close, collaborative relationship between provider and MOCJ personnel.
The following policy recommendations are centered on these mediums of support. These recommendations are informed by the preceding overview of providers’ numerous categories and mechanisms of impact, and are intended to enhance the scale and efficiency of each, respectively. Generally, these recommendations are focused on maximizing the potential of service providers’ existing programs and on outlining a future path that allows MOCJ to further leverage providers’ expertise in ways that advance MOCJ policy objectives. Specifically, they are as follows:
- MOCJ should support the expansion of service providers’ work in early-stage, risk-targeted, and scalable conflict interventions.
- MOCJ should optimize its fiscal relationships with service providers to better leverage their preventative potential and minimize infrastructural and contracting impediments.
- MOCJ should leverage its influence to formalize referral, training, and other helpful relationships between service providers and City agencies.
- MOCJ should adjust its scope of service recipients to include not only those already involved with the criminal justice system, but also those at risk of, directly or collaterally affected by, and otherwise influencing such involvement, and – as they relate to Catchment services – younger and development-proximal individuals.
Each of these recommendations is accompanied by a rationale to justify its inclusion, as well as a series of related action items intended to help inform and facilitate their expedited implementation. Modifications of or augmentations to these action items may be required based on subsequent provider feedback and MOCJ’s own operational realities. As such, they should be viewed as a realistic, yet flexible path toward achieving the related recommendations.
While the time horizon during which these recommendations should be implemented is likely dependent upon factors beyond the focus of this evaluation, their timely attention is encouraged and will only hasten providers’ ability to further contribute to the reduction of crime, fear, and disorder throughout the City.
Figure 33. MOCJ Should...
To help operationalize the preceding research into meaningful action for MOCJ, the service providers, and the City they collaboratively serve, a set of four policy-oriented recommendations are proposed, including: (1) expanding risk-focused services; (2) optimizing MOCJ’s fiscal relationship with service providers; (3) lending institutional support to providers; and (4) refining case and client targeting.
1. Expand Risk-Focused Services
MOCJ should support the expansion of service providers’ work in early-stage, risk-targeted, and scalable conflict interventions.
In addition to borough-wide and location- specific Catchment Area services, the expansion of early-stage, risk-targeted, and scalable conflict interventions will significantly extend service providers’ preventative impact. Services sequenced earlier in the conflict lifecycle are better received421 and accumulate far greater downstream effects.
Risk-targeted services are those that (1) minimize the acquisition, accumulation, and affect of conflict-related criminogenic risk factors, and/or (2) seek to offset the negative consequences associated with select criminogenic risk generators. In NYC, two of the primary conflict-related criminogenic risk generators are negative encounters with NYPD (i.e. arrests, summons, and SQF) and punitive, exclusionary discipline meted out in the City’s public schools.
Finally, scalable interventions are those where a sufficient volume of conflicts exist such that productive interventions would generate quantifiable impact, and are supported by a sufficient allocation of organizational resources. Opportunities for such scale are primarily associated with criminal justice system partnerships, but can originate elsewhere, as well. As such, MOCJ is encouraged to acknowledge the preventative potential from and support the provision of services delivered to clients regardless of their originating referral source.
1.1 NYPD Access. Work with NYPD leadership to create opportunities that provide regular, precinct- level access to service providers for the purposes of educating officers on the applicability and availability of their services, encouraging referrals to those services, and eliciting information helpful in refining providers’ ongoing community outreach.
1.2 NYPD Training. Work with NYPD to support an expanded – ideally citywide – rollout of NYPI’s current training of officers in constructive conflict de-escalation and engagement skills.
1.3 NYPD Referral Pilot. Work with NYPD to develop a pilot referral program targeting repeat reports of residential noise violations where no previous responsive officer actions have been recorded.
1.4 NYPD Referral Institutionalization. Work with NYPD leadership to institutionalize CDRC referral procedures, such as through their inclusion in the Patrol Guide and other relevant documents.
1.5 DOE Program Expansion. Work with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) leadership to embed onsite restorative practices or peer mediation programming in 15 new schools during each of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years.422
1.6 DOE Suspension-Triggered Interventions. Work with DOE leadership to encourage the expedited scheduling of a mediative or restorative intervention following a student’s receipt of a second in-school suspension.423
1.7 DOE Proactive Use of Special Education Mediation. Work with DOE leadership to encourage a more proactive, school-initiated approach to requesting mediation in special education contexts. Currently, the majority of current requests are advanced-stage and parent- initiations, well after associated criminogenic risks may have already accrued.
1.8 DOE Mediation Acceptance by CSEs. Work with DOE leadership to encourage a more uniform acceptance of parent-initiated mediation requests involving Committees on Special Education.
1.9 DOE Mediation in Lieu of Resolution Sessions. Work with DOE leadership to explore the expanded use of mediation in lieu of resolution sessions prior to impartial hearings.
1.10 DOE Incentivizing Attorney Involvement. Work with DOE leadership to explore the inclusion of financial support for attorneys participating in special education mediations, such as is already provided for attorneys participating in impartial hearings. Such parity would create a significant, systemic incentive encouraging greater utilization of special education mediation that minimizes involved students’ criminogenic risk profiles.
1.11 DOE Administrative Training. Work with DOE to provide additional administrative-level training in restorative principles and constructive conflict engagement skills.
1.12 DOE Institutionalizing RJ Principles. Work with DOE leadership to explore further institutionalizing restorative principles into its Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning (i.e. discipline code).
1.13 NYCHA MAP-Connected Staff Training. Work with NYCHA leadership to secure training for administrative staff stationed at current MAP initiative housing developments. This training should include (1) an introduction to service providers’, their available interventions, and appropriate referral contexts; and (2) housing-oriented conflict skills training.
1.14 Expansion of Conflict Skills Training. Given its ability to influence countless daily interactions, training may well represent one of the most consequential, propagation sensitive interventions service providers offer. As such, MOCJ should support an aggressive expansion of basic and context- specific conflict skills training in criminogenically vulnerably locations and populations.
1.15 Discourage Overly-Restrictive Targeting. To maximize the propagation of their impact, MOCJ should support service providers in delivering interventions to a diverse audience and in maintaining a portfolio that, on the whole, serves clients with varying criminal, housing, or referrer affiliations, including primary prevention-targeted programming.424
2. Optimize Fiscal Relationships
MOCJ should optimize its fiscal relationships with service providers to better leverage their preventative potential and minimize infrastructural and contracting impediments.
Three opportunities currently exist for further optimizing MOCJ’s fiscal relationship with service providers. First, more closely aligning MOCJ’s risk objectives with its level of fiscal support will encourage greater progress toward those objectives. Second, targeted investment in service providers’ infrastructure needs will ensure they have the capacity to fulfill their substantially under-leveraged potential. Third, improving MOCJ’s contracting procedures and timelines such that they are more responsive to providers’ fiscal realities will improve providers’ ability to function as contracted and with greater consequence. More detailed instructive rationales for each are offered separately below.
Risk Informed Financing
Future financial support to service providers should be more thoroughly based on their aforereviewed preventative impact, rather than on unrelated historic funding trends. Currently, the City’s investment in conflict interventions fails to reflect those services’ ongoing performance and potential as effective, evidence-based, and community- oriented contributors to the prevention of crime, fear, and disorder.
While policy priorities will dictate how allocations specifically materialize, one approach would be to support the work of service providers in a way that more directly and substantially offsets notable contributors to the City’s aggregated criminogenic risk profile. For example, a annual allocation by MOCJ of $4.5 to $5.0 million would more effectively offset the marginal criminogenic risks associated with enforcement-related police actions and school-related exclusionary discipline; risk generators with whom service providers are strongly positioned to collaborate and risks their interventions are uniquely capable of counteracting.425 A coordinated scaling of the City’s investment to this level over the next several years would help prepare the providers for the commensurate levels of operations and expectations. Absent this additional investment, providers will remain effectively locked in a cycle of triaging geographically-limited, reactionary responses to what can and should be a more comprehensive, proactive citywide response to decoupling conflict from crime.
Service providers face notable administrative and programmatic challenges related to systemic, long-standing deficiencies in infrastructure investment. These include overworked and under-compensated office staff, irregular continuing education activity, nominal capacity to recognize significant volunteer contributions, tenancy insecurity, and unfunded awareness-raising budgets, to name a few. The existence of these is fueled, in part, by the starvation cycle426 endemic in the nonprofit sector, and exacerbated by providers’ labor-intensive service reality.427 Still, funder-initiated and -encouraged efforts that work to remediate these conditions through support of infrastructure and core missions can extend providers’ preventative and broader social impacts.428
Each of the service providers is significantly reliant upon the timely registration and execution of their contracts with the City. At a minimum, delayed contract registration and payments present the prospects of last- minute adjustments to staff assignments and program implementation timelines, both of which affect providers’ ability to achieve service milestones. More damaging, though, is the financial hardship these delays create, hardships that challenge not only the related services, but also staff morale and the organizations’ overall fiscal viabilities. As such, greater attention to prompt contracting practices is essential to providers' performance and in line with recommendations from numerous other observers.429 MOCJ should work to provide contractors with more timely and reliable contract processing and payment experiences.
2.1 Develop a Roadmap for Enhanced Funding. Develop a funding roadmap, to begin during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, that increases MOCJ’s citywide allocation of prevention- oriented mediation and related services to $4.5 to $5.0 million annually. This funding should specifically emphasize NYPD and DOE-involved collaborations, significantly increase the provision of conflict skills trainings, address providers’ key infrastructure needs, and otherwise reflect the recommendations and action items presented here and in the following programmatic recommendations.
2.2 Confirm Key Infrastructure Needs. Work with service providers to identify any infrastructure needs not already identified here.
2.3 Prompt Contracting & Contingencies. Collaboratively explore with service providers options that minimize the fiscal hardships from delayed contract registrations, including possible provisional payments, earlier RFP releases, and an established schedule of contract status updates for those experiencing a delay, among others.
2.4 Customizable Contracts. Continue the practice of establishing contracting models and specific service rates using individual provider-identified estimates and intervention-relevant progress metrics rather than a one-rate-fits-all approach.430
2.5 Future Evaluation Investments. Invest in further service evaluations to quantify providers’ specific preventative impacts and inform future resource development and deployment efforts.431
Figure 34. Risk-Appropriate Funding Deficit
There exists a substantial discrepancy between the performance and preventative potential of service providers’ interventions, and the current funding allocated toward their implementation. Based on the scale of NYC’s aggregated criminogenic risk profile, MOCJ should undertake an orderly restructuring of its investments in provider services to reflect a more risk-appropriate allocation of between $4.5 and $5.0 million, annually. Thus supported, the City’s mediation and restorative service providers would be more thoroughly equipped to correctively moderate these specific risks to which they are uniquely positioned to respond.
3. Lend Institutional Support
MOCJ should leverage its influence to formalize referral, training, and other helpful relationships between service providers and City agencies.
Service providers have had uneven success in establishing relationships with City agencies that are key to achieving their preventative potential. Their difficulties stem from a combination of limited staff resources, limited institutional influence, limited recourse to address partners’ abandoned or poorly administered agreements, and embedded institutional norms resistant to restorative reorientation.432
Absent or inefficient referral relationships minimize service providers’ effectiveness, unnecessarily place forfeited service recipients at further potential for harm or criminogenic risk, and detract from broader prevention campaigns. Indeed, the current trickle-flow rate of cases referred by City agencies barely wets providers’ referral pipelines.433
Given the importance of contributions by providers to the City’s prevention efforts, MOCJ’s active advocacy in establishing meaningful access to and partnerships with key City agencies is central to ensuring service providers achieve their preventative potential. Most centrally, this includes greater access to MOCJ’s own senior staff to help ensure policy-priority alignment and to affirm the depth and strength of the evolving MOCJ/provider partnerships. Leveraging MOCJ’s influence in other institutional contexts, as recommended in the following action items, would also help strengthen providers’ performance and enhance their overall organizational stability.
3.1 MOCJ’s Senior Staff Connections. Design opportunities for senior MOCJ staff to observe and interact with service providers and their programming.
3.2 MOCJ’s ADR-Related Portfolio. Work to ensure an internally coordinated approach to MOCJ’s suite of mediation, dispute resolution, and related programming such that unproductive redundancies and the uncoordinated delivery of aligned services are minimized. This could be achieved through the establishment of a Director of ADR services position within MOCJ, an active working group, or other coordinating response.
3.3 NYCHA Development-Level Contacts. Work with NYCHA leadership to normalize relations between development-level management and service providers, including an acceptance of service providers’ active, onsite presence, as well as the institutionalization of case referral processes.
3.4 Inclusion in Prosecutorial Negotiations. Work with Prosecutors’ Offices to encourage greater utilization of local service providers’ interventions in misdemeanor adjournments in contemplation of dismissal (ACDs), probation-probable misdemeanor offenses, and other negotiated dispositions.
3.5 Rejected Summons Alternatives. Work with leadership from the Citywide Summons Operation to include information on the availability of service providers’ conflict coaching and other conflict-assistive services, alongside rejection/dismissal notices for summonses that fail to survive defect or facial sufficiency reviews.
3.6 Visible City Endorsement. Work with service providers to design a “MOCJ Supported Service” or similar designation that providers could display on their outreach materials to help elevate public awareness and utilization of facilitated interventions prior to requiring criminal referral.
3.7 MTA Public Service Announcement. Work with service providers to design and fund an MTA public service announcement to raise awareness of the availability and desirability of early lifecycle utilization of conflict-assistive services, targeting data- identified locations with high rates of conflict- attributable criminal activity.
3.8 MOCJ-Surfaced Partnership Opportunities. Actively encourage partnerships between service providers and other MOCJ-supported initiatives where providers’ conflict-related criminogenic risk reductions could help augment others’ efforts.
3.9 Support Provider/Partner Co-Locations. Work with City and court agencies to secure stable, sufficient operating spaces that allow service providers to co-locate in close proximity to key referral partners and/or client- frequented locales. In instances where displacement from such co-location threatens providers’ operational continuity or preventative capacity, actively advocate against such displacement.
3.10 Advocate for Interpreter Access. Work with City and court agencies to facilitate reliable access to language interpretation services for providers, as the lack of such services currently frustrates and has on occasion outright foreclosed on the opportunity for providers to meaningfully engage select at- risk and marginalized populations.
4. Refine Case & Client Targeting
MOCJ should adjust its scope of service recipients to include not only those already involved with the criminal justice system, but also those at risk of, directly or collaterally affected by, and otherwise influencing such involvement, and – as they relates to Catchment services – younger and development-proximal individuals.
Motivated by a confluence of discord between MOCJ’s stated objectives, service providers’ practicing interpretations, and findings from the latest research, there exists an important opportunity concenter the three. Generally, the current targeting of service providers’ supported interventions should be clarified in ways that both expand their scope and sharpen their focus. Doing so can help further strengthen their prevention relevance and better address Catchment-specific needs, as outlined in the specific rationales and action items below.
As a general rule, interventions of the greatest consequence are those that prevent a person from becoming criminally involved from the outset, rather than recidivism-oriented interventions that seek desistance or impact mitigation from previous or ongoing criminal activity.434 As such, service providers should be supported for their work that either suppresses recidivism or addresses known conflict-relevant criminogenic risk factors.
Inclusions in an expanded definition of supportable prevention-relevant interventions should acknowledge services to the following categories of individuals: (1) criminally- involved individuals, (2) criminogenically vulnerable individuals, and (3) criminogenically influential individuals. Specifically, conflict interventions should target:
- Individuals with any recent or intervention-relevant police contact;
- Individuals with prior criminal convictions; and
- Individuals who self-report or otherwise reveal criminal involvement.
Criminogenically Vulnerable Individuals:
- Victims of known or self-reported physical or emotional harm;
- Individuals who have perpetrated known or self-reported emotional or physical harm;
- Individuals who self-report below average communication, problem solving, or social skills;
- Individuals who self-report above average antisocial, impulsive, or risk-taking behaviors;
- Individuals who self-report a strong identity with deviant/antisocial beliefs or attitudes;
- Individuals who self-report a lack of extra-familial prosocial models;
- Close friends of criminally-involved peers;
- Individuals exposed to violence or racial prejudice;
- Youth who are identified or self-report as having low academic performance;
- Youth who are identified or self-report as engaging in truancy;
- Youth subjected to exclusionary or punitive school discipline;
- Individuals who have exited formal education prematurely;
- Individuals residing in low socioeconomic status, high crime, or otherwise distressed communities;
- Youth and young adults (up to age 24) who reside in high-conflict households; and
- Children to or siblings of criminally- involved parents/siblings.
Criminogenically Influential Individuals:
- High-conflict parents or siblings who reside with youth; and
- Parents who self-report below average communication skills, or child involvement/monitoring practices.
Self-reports or revelations of any of the above relevant categories can (1) occur at any time during the intervention, including initial intake, case processing, service delivery, or follow-up; (2) originate from any service participant, including the direct service recipient, included support individuals, or referral source; and (3) be either uniformly affirmed or unilaterally alleged. Service providers should work to ensure their case management procedures are able to consistently identify, record, and appropriately report any of these potential connections to prevention relevance.
Catchment Area Modifications
The Catchment Areas’ age-based focus on youth and young adults ages 16 to 24 is set restrictively too high to maximally leverage service providers’ early lifecycle impact, and is limiting providers’ ability to serve some who are otherwise positioned to benefit from the current interventions. In contrast, the lack of specificity as to Catchment Area service recipients’ residency requirements is producing troublingly inconsistent interpretations by service providers. For example, residency has been variously interpreted as (arranged in descending order of connectedness): (1) those with official residency in relevant NYCHA housing developments;435 (2) those who un/officially reside in or have close family members and/or friends who reside in relevant NYCHA housing developments; (3) those who un/officially reside in or have an intervention- relevant familial, social, and/or professional connection to relevant NYCHA housing developments or their immediate surrounding geographies; and (4) those who un/officially reside in or are otherwise co-located within Zip Codes shared with relevant NYCHA housing developments. These divergent interpretations are (1) challenging providers’ ability to achieve service milestones, particularly if only high connectedness definitions are ultimately required; (2) producing dissimilar service populations across Catchment Area initiatives; and (3) confounding future cross-Catchment impact assessments.
4.1 Recognizing Vulnerable/Influential Clients. Augment the current criminal case coding system to recognize services provided to criminally involved and criminogenically vulnerable/influential individuals, as noted above.
4.2 Lowering the Targeted Client Age. Adjust the current service guidelines to both encourage and recognize the provision of prevention-relevant services to clients as young as 10 years of age.
4.3 Clarifying Client Residency Requirements. Clarify the client residency qualification for services provided through Catchment Area contracts to require a development-proximal relationship (i.e. #3 in the list of possible interpretations).
421. Early intervention refers to programming targeting youth populations, as well as conflicts in the early-stages of their lifecycles, such as the initial moment of – and ideally prior to – contact with the criminal justice system. For example, when referring to restorative-oriented services, early lifecycle referrals are ideal as invitation acceptance rates are higher pre-sentencing (up to 90%) than post-sentence (Sherman, L.W., et al., 2015a).
422. This proposed two-year increase represents roughly 2% of the NYC DOE’s total school/program portfolio. A pilot of this size would provide an adequate number of sites to perform a subsequent impact assessment comparing performance across multiple schools, implementing service providers, and program designs, the results from which would be influential in determining best practices for possible subsequent expansions. In identifying potential schools for embedding future services, emphases should be placed on (1) high schools with disproportionately high rates of suspensions and other punitive discipline actions; (2) intermediate/middle schools that serve as feeder schools to those earlier sites; and (3) schools serving low socioeconomic status, high crime rate, or otherwise distressed neighborhoods. As many high-priority high schools previously identified by MOCJ already satisfy these criteria, those schools appear to be prime targets (Ramirez, U., Schiraldi, V., 2016).
423. Here, students’ discipline trajectories, the pending consequences from any subsequent suspensions, and the accumulating criminogenic risks all combine to make the prompt scheduling of a conflict-assistive intervention a particularly timely and worthwhile investment toward the de-escalation of the contributing conflicts and remediation of the students’ harmful behaviors.
424. Networks with “empirically observed amounts of homophily experience 30% less adoption attributed to peer influence than identical systems without homophily” (Aral, S., Muchnik, L., Sundararajan, A., 2013). For service providers, this means that the exclusive targeting of clients with specific characteristics (e.g. only those already arrested, convicted, living in a specific development, or possessing another specific criminogenic risk factor) will result in fewer clients subsequently positively influencing fewer peers.
425. Reductions in recidivism achieved through service providers’ interventions broadly match the increases in criminogenic risks associated with enforcement-related police contact and exclusionary school discipline. Therefore, mitigating the aggregated marginal increase in the City’s collective criminogenic risk profile that is attributable to the nearly 800,000 negative police interactions and the estimated 45,000 school-related exclusionary discipline actions each year requires a constructively affected service population of similar size. Given the estimated networking effect of service providers’ constructive interventions (5.5x), their combined constructively affected service population is currently nearly 190,000 individuals annually. To match the negatively affected population from two of the City’s primary criminogenic risk generators, providers would need to reach 4.4 times more people than is currently projected for 2016. Presuming a linear scaling between funding and serviceable population growth, providers would, therefore, require an annual conflict- intervention-related crime prevention budget of between $4.5 million and $5.0 million dollars.
426. The nonprofit starvation cycle is defined as: “a vicious cycle leaving nonprofits so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations – let alone serve their beneficiaries. The cycle starts with funders’ unrealistic expectations about how much running a nonprofit costs, and results in nonprofits’ misrepresenting their costs while skimping on vital systems – acts that feed funders’ skewed beliefs. To break the nonprofit starvation cycle, funders must take the lead” (Gregory, A.G., Howard, D., 2009).
427. Operating in the face of what is termed human services’ ‘cost disease,’ the face-to-face, labor-intensive nature of mediation and restorative interventions means they are likely to only ever be marginally more productive through greater reliance upon technology. The real cost of these services has risen substantially over time and is likely to do so in the future (Roberts, D., et al, 2016).
428. Investment in service providers’ infrastructure by acknowledging the true cost of programs (i.e. core mission support and direct expenses) is savvy, prudent, and absolutely necessary (Klotz, C., 2016).
429. Numerous government and industry observers have noted the deleterious effects created by contracting delays with NYC and New York State agencies (DiNapoli, T.P., 2016; McCambridge, R., 2016; and Stix, M., 2016). For service providers specifically, the evaluator observed substantial administrative anxiety and operational uncertainty as a result of these delays.
430. Each provider operates within their own unique administrative needs, mix of programs, and service communities. Contracted rates should vary accordingly.
431. If supported through more structured referral relationships, the potential case volume across the studied service providers would easily match – if not far exceed – that of some of the most rigorously evaluated restorative justice intervention networks in the world; positioning the NYC service provider network as one of the most desirable for and deserving of continual evaluation. Further, investing in research that utilizes standards of evidence from the prevention realm (Flay, B.R., et al., 2005) and allows service providers to validate their impact within the City’s social and institutional contexts is a worthy undertaking that supports data-informed criminal justice policy and practices. Specifically, MOCJ should consider investing in multi- year outcome assessment evaluations, as recommended by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, the National Research Council, and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (Sherman, L.W., et al., 2015b).
432. Much has been hypothesized about the underlying mechanisms effectively thwarting greater systemic adoption of restorative approaches to criminal processing and remediation. One line worthy of note is the dichotomy between social justice and social order (Janoff-Bulman, R., Carnes, N.C., 2016). Here, the collective weight of an embedded institutional morality – itself prone to marginalizing victim harm and its restoration – serves as a substantial, subconscious, and structural barrier to securing the entry and enthusiastic utilization of mediative and restorative interventions within the criminal justice system (Niemi, L., Young, L., 2016; Haidt, J., Graham, J., 2006). This institutionalized morality is operationalized through reductive metric- focused policing (Sparrow, M.K., 2015), prosecutorial conviction-maximizing decisionmaking (Bowers, J., 2008), and de-localizing courts (Crawford, A., Newburn, T., 2002). The collective weight of these institutional barriers far exceeds the nominal influence any particular service provider may wield. Therefore, active advocacy by motivated institutional actors (i.e. MOCJ) is essential to ensuring service providers have access to and support from the systemic partners necessary to scale providers’ impact.
433. Within restorative-oriented referral pipelines, the lack of any meaningful hydraulic pressure from institutional partners is a regularly recognized and long-lamented condition that effectively sidelines service providers’ contributions and consequence. For more, review the discussion within Sherman, L.W., et al. (2015b). Similarly, the difficulty of securing a sizable, steady flow of referrals has been a long-standing impediment to professionalized community mediation programs for nearly as long as they have existed in the U.S. Indeed, Just a few years after the initial three neighborhood justice centers were established by the Department of Justice, a community mediation program addressing criminal matters reported difficulty in achieving even modest referral goals (Snyder, F.E., 1978). That experience and similar rueful observations continued as programs proliferated across the country (McGillis, 1997), and continues still today as lamented by every service provider interviewed for this assessment.
434. Post-criminal, recidivism-oriented interventions are socio-structurally limited in their impact, as the negative acute and distal consequences of the criminal activity have already occurred, leaving the responding interventions primarily concerned with dampening the initial harm’s further propagation, repairing elements of that harm, and discouraging subsequent repetition. When successful, truly pre-emptive interventions, on the other hand, prevent the occurrence of those initial harms, the need for restoration therefrom, or the need to course correct criminal careers.
435. Even using this strictest interpretation, official residency – such as may be proven through reference to prospective service clients’ IDs or received mail – is likely to omit serviceable residents, as NYCHA’s own figures estimate up to 100,000 unofficial ‘ghost’ residents currently occupy NYCHA housing developments (Blumgart, J., 2016). Profiles of some of these individuals and the motivations compelling their ‘ghost’ status suggest many of these individuals possess elevated criminogenic risk profiles and would substantially benefit from service providers’ interventions.