Kansas City leaders think a new law enforcement approach that offers incentives for convicted and would-be criminals to change their ways can help lower a local murder rate five times higher than the national average.
The "No Violence Alliance," or NoVA, is designed to fight violent crime by identifying criminal networks and letting even the most fringe members know they are being watched.
NoVA is patterned after a "focused deterrence" model created in Boston in the mid-1990s. It offers social services to help offenders break away from criminal elements while promising harsh penalties — including long federal prison sentences — for those who don't.
A study released last year found that nine of 10 Ceasefire-like programs experienced "strong and statistically significant crime reductions associated with the approach."