The Peoria Reads! book selection for 2012 is "Don't Shoot. One Man, A Street Fellowship, and The End of Violence in Inner-City America," by David M. Kennedy.
This book was chosen by Peoria Reads! because of the importance it will play in Peoria’s initiative to put a stop to gang and gun violence. See for yourself how the “Don’t Shoot” program and strategies, which are detailed throughout the book, can work in communities like ours.
Visit the library's book detail page to learn more about the book and find out how to get your FREE copy (limited quantities available). Or borrow the book from Peoria Public Library. For more information call Alyce Jackson, Peoria Public Library: 309.497.2143, or Connie Voss, Common Place: 309.674.3315.
[+] A Look Inside Don't Shoot
Gang- and drug-related inner-city violence, with its attendant epidemic of incarceration, is the defining crime problem in our country. In some neighborhoods in America, one out of every 200 young black men is shot to death each year, and few initiatives of government and law enforcement have made much difference. But when David M. Kennedy, a self-taught and then-unknown criminologist, engineered the “Boston Miracle” during the crack epidemic of the 1990s, it cut youth homicide in the city by two-thirds and pointed the way toward what few had imagined: a real solution.
“Don’t Shoot” tells the story of Kennedy’s progress. Riding with beat cops, hanging with gang members and stoop-sitting with grandmothers, Kennedy found that all parties misunderstood each other, caught in a spiral of racialized anger and distrust. He envisioned an approach in which everyone—gang members, drug dealers, cops and community members—joins together in what is essentially a giant intervention. Offenders are told that the violence must stop, that even the cops want them to stay alive and out of prison, and that even their families support swift law enforcement if the violence continues.
The program Kennedy developed based on this approach has now been implemented in over 70 cities, including Baltimore, Pittsburg, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and in city after city, the same miracle has followed: Violence plummets, drug markets dry up, and the relationship between the police and the community is reset.
This is a story of one man’s journey, riveting and fueled by moral urgency. It is also a landmark book, detailing what could be a lasting solution to one of America’s most intractable social problems.