Improving Police Clearance Rates of Shootings: A Review of the Evidence

In a new report for the Manhattan Institute, Anthony Braga, the Jerry Lee Professor of Criminology and the Director of the Crime and Justice Policy Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, writes about strategies for strengthening shooting investigations. Research and experience indicate that shooting investigations can be strengthened to increase the ability of the police to hold gun offenders accountable for their crimes. The Boston Homicide Clearance Project provides rigorous evidence that enhanced investigative resources, improved management structures, and oversight processes can increase homicide clearance rates and improve the chances that murderers are apprehended in even the most difficult cases to clear. More gang- and drug-related gun homicides that plague most urban areas can be cleared with a focused investigative strategy. Given the considerable overlap between fatal and nonfatal shooting events, so, too, might more of these latter crimes be cleared. The effective investigation of shootings can help prevent further cascades of gun violence in cities by deterring retaliation and incapacitating violent individuals who could persist in their crimes or end up as victims of retaliatory shootings.
Read the article here