Newsroom Archive


Professor David Kennedy Receives Honorary Degree From Swarthmore College

New York, NY, June, 6, 2011 - Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control and Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College, received an honorary degree from his alma mater Swarthmore College at its 139th Commencement on May 29th. Along with fellow honorees, publisher David Bradley and entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir, Kennedy received the honorary degree at the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater in Swarthmore, PA.

Professor Kennedy was recognized for the innovative and effective strategies he has designed for law enforcement agencies across the country. Hallmarks of his approach include direct communication with offenders, prior explanation of criminal sanctions, focused moral engagement by community figures, the provision of social service support, and explicit attention to racialized conflict between law enforcement and troubled communities.

Kennedy's work in youth violence, first conducted in concert with the Boston Police Department, led to the Operation Ceasefire intervention that cut youth homicide in Boston by two-thirds and has since been applied in dozens of cities. His work on firearms violence helped identify gun trafficking as a major national problem and led to the national Youth Firearms Interdiction Initiative, which he helped design and launch. Kennedy also developed the "High Point" drug market elimination strategy, named for the community in North Carolina where it was first introduced and which is now being replicated by the Department of Justice.

Kennedy is the author of Deterrence and Crime Prevention: Reconsidering the Prospect of Sanction(2008), co-author of Beyond 911: A New Era for Policing (1990), and a wide range of articles on gang violence, drug markets, domestic violence, firearms trafficking, deterrence theory, and other public safety issues. His next book, Don't Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America, will be published this fall. He is also the co-chair of the National Network for Safe Communities, which is dedicated to reducing crime, reducing incarceration, and addressing the racial conflict associated with traditional crime policy.

Kennedy earned a B.A. from Swarthmore in 1980 with high honors in philosophy and history.

The National Network for Safe Communities is dedicated to implementing these crime reduction strategies nationally; to institutionalizing them; to continuing to evaluate and improve them; and thereby to dramatically reduce crime and incarceration in America. For more information about the NNSC, visit

The Center for Crime Prevention and Control fosters innovative crime reduction strategies through hands-on fieldwork, research, and unique partnerships with communities, police, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals. Its staff is actively engaged in crime prevention initiatives in jurisdictions around the country and the world fostering close working relations with practitioners within key criminal justice and community institutions. For more information about the Center, visit

Established in 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York is an international leader in educating for justice. It offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit