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May 14, 2024


Andrea Castillo

(301) 699-3500 x6158

Library hosts conversation with leading criminologist David M. Kennedy May 15

Largo, Maryland – Leading violence prevention researcher, criminologist, and thought leader David M. Kennedy joins the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) for a virtual conversation on Wednesday, May 15 at 2 pm. Kennedy, who is known for his focused deterrence homicide prevention approach that has been used in communities throughout the U.S. and the world, will briefly introduce his work and research, and then he will take part in a conversation with PGCMLS Adult and Senior Services Specialist Audrey Lau on the issues. U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MD) will also share an introduction for the event. Those wishing to attend “A Conversation with David M. Kennedy” are asked to register online for the program. 

“It is an honor for the Prince George's County Memorial Library System to host a conversation with David Kennedy, the preeminent expert on the deterrence of violence in communities,” said PGCMLS CEO Dr. Mark Winston. “We are particularly enthusiastic about his leading a discussion around this timely and important topic, with the library system, which is driven by its role as a safe space and a venue for discussions of topics that touch all members of our community.

Kennedy’s focused deterrence intervention framework developed as a result of his research and work as a principal in the Boston Gun Project during the mid-1990s, along with its Operation Ceasefire homicide prevention strategy, in response to a large uptick in shooting deaths among youth in the area. 

That framework focuses its efforts on a small group of offenders that commit the majority of the crimes in an area. Law enforcement and community partners work together to reach out to those offenders and tell them to stop the violence while offering social services and assistance, or they will face arrest, incarceration, or other legal consequences. The approach has been used to tackle group and gang violence, individual violent offenders, intimate partner violence, street drug markets, opioid markets, prison safety, and other public safety issues.

“The effect is not only quieter streets, but a community coalition that squarely takes on its toxic racial history, swallows ambitions, and goes to work to solve the crisis of youth homicide and mass incarceration,” said Lau, summarizing Kennedy’s approach to tackling gang- and drug-related violence in many American city streets.

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About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve book lovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of the 2021 Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award for Workforce and Economic Development. Learn more at