Episode | #076

Focused violence-prevention strategy relies on message from surviving moms.

Rosilyn Temple: “Step up. Change your circle. Your associates is the ones that’s killing you.”

Focused deterrence is a law enforcement strategy that’s been around for nearly two decades. Some cities use it to curb violence. And sometimes it’s successful. It works like this: First pick a crime problem to tackle - like homicide - or a root cause like drug trafficking… Next find out who’s part of the problem… Then offer these people an incentive to change - like jobs, drug treatment, or state IDs... And if you slip up again. Expect a long prison sentence.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Reporter Ashley Luthern - who is part of our Precious Lives Team - traveled to Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City chose to address gang or group related homicides using focused deterrence - in the form of a quarterly meeting, also known as a call-in. Could the strategy work in Milwaukee?

Mike De Sisti | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Rosilyn Temple, executive director of KC Mothers in Charge, shows a photo of her son who was shot and killed in 2011. Temple and other mothers urge the men at the call-in to take advantage of resources and stop the violence.

Kansas City police, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and other officials address a group of men during a call-in in May. The tell the men if they or their associates engaged in gun crimes, they'll face a harsh response from law enforcement and long prison sentences.

Additional Precious Lives content can be found on our media partner pages: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WUWM, WisconsinWatch.

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