Huffington Post’s Listen to America project is in Little Rock today. Along with KARK/Fox 16, it’s hosting a panel discussion at Philander Smith College at 7 p.m. tonight. The stop-through coincided with a series of stories published on the HuffPost website:
*Again in collaboration with KARK/Fox 16, HuffPost has a feature on Little Rock’s rising murder rate, “We’re Having Gang Wars All Over Again.” Much of it will familiar to Arkansas Blog readers, but it does a good job at laying out some of the systemic issues at play.
Little Rock has also decided to adopt a local version of Ceasefire, a national gun violence prevention program that has proven successful in other cities. The program targets a handful of people who are at risk of committing gun violence or becoming a victim of gun violence, and then works with well-known people in the community who can convince them to put down their weapons.
In Richmond, California, a city of comparable size and demographic makeup to Little Rock, the most high-risk individuals were even paid not to commit crimes. Unconventional as it may seem, Ceasefire’s model has been credited with helping to reduce the number of criminal homicides from 47 in 2009 to just 11 in 2014.
“We’re using people who have been in trouble before ― felons,” Stodola, the mayor, said during his press…
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