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The pandemic did not interrupt LA’s violence interrupters

Jiaoying Ren (Sloan School of Management, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Karina Santoso (Department of Mathematics, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA)
David Hyde (Department of Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
Andrea L. Bertozzi (Department of Mathematics, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA)
P. Jeffrey Brantingham (Department of Anthropology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on crime has been highly variable. One possible source of variation runs indirectly through the impact that the pandemic had on groups tasked with preventing and responding to crime. Here, this paper aims to examine the impact of the pandemic on the activities undertaken by front-line workers in the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use both autoregressive integrated moving average modeling and a regression-based event study design to identify changes in GRYD Community Intervention Worker proactive peacemaking and violence interruption activities induced by the onset of the City of Los Angeles “safter-at-home” lockdown.

Findings

Analyses show that the proactive peacemaking and violence interruption activities either remained stable or increased with the onset of the lockdown.

Originality/value

While the City of Los Angeles exempted GRYD’s Community Intervention Workers from lockdown restrictions, there was no guarantee that proactive peacemaking and violence interruption activities would continue unchanged. The authors conclude that these vital functions were indeed resilient in the face of major disruptions to daily life presented by the pandemic. However, the causal connection between stability in Community Intervention Worker activities and gang-related crime remains to be evaluated.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This impetus for this work was a project conducted for the 2021 UCLA CAM Summer REU. Permission to use the data contained herein was provided by the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of GRYD. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this study, however, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the GRYD Office. This research was funded by the City of Los Angeles contract number C-132202 (“GRYD Research and Evaluation”).

Disclosure statement: PJB serves on the Board of Directors at Geolitica.

Citation

Ren, J., Santoso, K., Hyde, D., Bertozzi, A.L. and Brantingham, P.J. (2022), "The pandemic did not interrupt LA’s violence interrupters", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-10-2022-0745

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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