Regarding the Sept. 26 Politics & The Nation article “FBI figures indicate rise in violent crime in 2016”:
The two-year uptick in violent crime in last week’s release of FBI crime statistics, though a slight upward trend in an otherwise decades-long decline, is troubling. While vigorously prosecuting violent crime is clearly necessary, we should think more broadly about preventing violence.
As urged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we must treat violence as a public-health concern, and we must use proven approaches to reducing violence at the local level to prevent crime. It is imperative that we invest in promising programs like Chicago’s Becoming a Man and Working on Womanhood, which use group therapy and mentoring in schools to teach impulse control, help young people deal with trauma and coach them to avoid violent encounters.
Los Angeles also uses a successful public-health approach that interrupts violence with credible community messengers. They have reduced retaliatory violence by about 40 percent in the neighborhoods where it has been implemented. These are effective models the District ought to emulate.
Preventing violent crime involves traditional criminal- justice measures and an integrated, longterm approach that addresses the root causes and drivers of crime. A modern, smart-on-crime approach dictates that we allocate our resources wisely, use proven prevention strategies to deter violence and do what works to keep our communities safe.
Karl A. Racine, Washington
The writer is the attorney general for the
District of Columbia.