A COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH TO INTERRUPTING CYCLES OF VIOLENCE AND INCARCERATION
The Trenton Police Department (TPD) has partnered with local organizations to launch Trenton Community Street Teams (TCST), a community-based violence intervention and prevention initiative designed to eliminate the cycle of violence in Trenton, New Jersey. TCST is modeled after the Newark Community Street Teams program, which led to a 60 percent reduction in homicides in Newark. The program relies on trusted messengers from the community to interrupt cycles of violence by cultivating and leveraging relationships and providing wraparound support to people in crisis. TPD enlisted the Capstone team to investigate and document the rollout of the TCST program. The team conducted a literature review of violence interruption programs around the country to develop a set of best practices and learnings. The team then interviewed program stakeholders, staff, and participants and reviewed key documents to develop a final report that examines the rollout and makes recommendations based on key findings.