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D.C. Anti-Violence Program Marred by Violence


Five months after Washington, D.C. launched a program called “People of Promise,” designed to focus government services on a list of those considered most at risk of committing or becoming a victim of violence, the effort has been marred by missteps in the process and a rash of violence that has seen many on the list killed, injured or prosecuted, report Emily Davies, Peter Hermann and Keith L. Alexander for the Washington Post.

City officials have admitted that they have yet even to make contact with about half of those they want to protect, despite enlisting multiple agencies to implement the program, confirming critics’ concerns that the city was too slow in rolling out the program after identifying the names of people they wanted to target. In addition, skeptics worry that the decision to show the list to front-line workers who mediate street conflicts circulated it too broadly, resulting in rumors among some of the at-risk residents targeted that it may be a “hit list” that police will use to arrest them, prompting them to avoid help altogether.

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