Focused deterrence and the prevention of violent gun injuries: Practice, theoretical principles, and scientific evidencez

Anthony A. Braga, David L. Weisburd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Focused deterrence strategies are a relatively new addition to a growing portfolio of evidence-based violent gun injury prevention practices available to policy makers and practitioners. These strategies seek to change offender behavior by understanding the underlying violence-producing dynamics and conditions that sustain recurring violent gun injury problems and by implementing a blended strategy of law enforcement, community mobilization, and social service actions. Consistent with documented public health practice, the focused deterrence approach identifies underlying risk factors and causes of recurring violent gun injury problems, develops tailored responses to these underlying conditions, and measures the impact of implemented interventions. This article reviews the practice, theoretical principles, and evaluation evidence on focused deterrence strategies. Although more rigorous randomized studies are needed, the available empirical evidence suggests that these strategies generate noteworthy gun violence reduction impacts and should be part of a broader portfolio of violence prevention strategies available to policy makers and practitioners.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
Volume36
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Gangs
  • Gun violence
  • Injury prevention
  • Tertiary prevention

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