How High Point, N.C., Solved Its Domestic Violence Problem

February 25, 2016 | By John Buntin

After 2 devastating intimate partner homicides in 2008, High Point, North Carolina Police Department (High Point NC, PD) decided to change its’ approach to domestic violence intervention.  At the core of High Point’s approach is a strategy known as focused deterrence, a crime reduction model developed in Boston in the early 1990s as a way to stop gun violence among gangs. Under the strategy, officers would target a specific criminal behavior committed by a small number of chronic offenders, such as gang members; offer them various forms of assistance, and notify them of potential sanctions if their behavior continued. In the late 1990s, High Point became one of the first jurisdictions to replicate Boston’s approach. As a result, the city’s violent crime rate fell by nearly half in a year’s time, and with noted success, the department moved to apply the approach for domestic violence intervention. This article highlights how High Point, NC PD implemented the focused deterrence approach to domestic violence in their jurisdiction.

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