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Policing Gun Crime Without Guns

13 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2009  

Tracey L. Meares

Yale University - Law School

Andrew V. Papachristos

Yale University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: January 13, 2009


Despite the recent and welcome decline in United States crime, gun crime remains a persistent concern among many Americans. Solutions to the "gun problem," however, diverge considerably, fueled by ideological, constitutional, and moral debates. Our prior work details the potential of a unique intervention effort that polices gun offenders with a hybrid mix of traditional enforcement and models of normative change. Using an individual growth curve models and propensity scores to adjust for non-random group assignment, our findings suggest that several PSN interventions are associated with greater declines of homicide in the treatment neighborhoods as compared to the control neighborhoods. The largest effect is associated with offender notification meetings that stress individual deterrence, normative change in offender behavior, and increasing views on legitimacy and procedural justice. Here we extend the prior work by examining and evaluating how the ex-offenders who attend the offender notification meetings - and those who don't - view the legitimacy of key actors in the criminal justice system and the law itself.

Keywords: Procedural Justice, Legitimacy, Gun Offenders, Project Safe Neighborhoods, Chicago, Gun Violence

JEL Classification: K42, K15

Suggested Citation

Meares, Tracey L. and Papachristos, Andrew V., Policing Gun Crime Without Guns (January 13, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Tracey Meares (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4074 (Phone)
203-432-4876 (Fax)

Andrew Papachristos

Yale University - Department of Sociology ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States


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