Unexpected Solutions — Thomas Abt

Unexpected Solutions — Thomas Abt

Date and Time

  • Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Peace and Justice Theatre

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110





What if urban violence wasn’t the intractable, controversial challenge we think it is? What if there was a plan for reducing urban violence by 50%, using a series of smart-on-crime strategies that don’t conform to the political talking points of either the right or left? We can bring peace to the streets of American cities, if we are willing to view violence not as an argument to be won, but as a problem to be solved.



Thomas Abt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Both in the United States and globally, Abt writes, teaches, and studies the use of evidence-informed approaches to reduce urban violence, among other criminal justice topics.

His book, Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence - and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, was published by Basic Books in June 2019. Abt’s work is frequently featured in major media outlets such as the Atlantic, Economist, Foreign Affairs, New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.

Before joining Harvard, Abt served as Deputy Secretary for Public Safety to Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York, where he oversaw all criminal justice and homeland security agencies. During his tenure, Abt led the development of New York’s GIVE (Gun-Involved Violence Elimination) Initiative, which employs evidence-informed, data-driven approaches to reduce gun violence.

Before his work in New York, Abt served as Chief of Staff to the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked with the nation’s principal criminal justice grant-making and research agencies to integrate evidence, policy, and practice. There he played a lead role in establishing the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a network of federal agencies and local communities working together to reduce youth violence.

This event is open to the public

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Hilary Beggs