Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission

Program basics

  • Partnership among criminal justice professionals (at the local, state, and federal levels) and community service providers identifies methods for prevention of homicides and other violent crimes from both public health and criminal justice perspectives
  • Attempts to reduce homicides and nonfatal shootings through a multidisciplinary and multi-agency homicide review process
  • There are four components to the intervention: real-time review, criminal justice review, community service provider review, and community review

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the National Institute of Justice


Target population

Community-wide

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dates active

2005-present

Outcomes and impact

  • 52% decline in monthly homicides in designated areas

Keys to successful implementation

  • Identify and recruit potential members of the Commission, including criminal justice professionals (at the local, state, and federal levels), community service providers, public officials, and community members; prioritize developing a diverse team across a range of disciplines and experiences.
  • Regularly convene Commission meetings to review homicide and near-fatal shooting processes, along with information exchanges.
  • Use each meeting as a forum for intensive discussion, setting clear goals to identify trends, gaps and deficits within the existing criminal justice system designed to prevent acts of violence. Crucially, Commission members must also commit to executing review work and recommendation developments in between meetings.
  • Encourage the Commission to provide clear, concrete recommendations for action – grounded in qualitative and quantitative data and careful deliberation – to partner organizations and law enforcement.
  • Clearly communicate and disseminate recommendations, actions, data analysis, and corresponding publications to a range of community stakeholders, including local residents, law enforcement, grant makers, the media, and social service providers.
  • Hire and train program support staff to conduct data collection and analysis, coordinate Commission reviews, and provide support on any ad hoc program needs.
  • Carefully identify and recruit a facilitator for Commission meetings; the facilitator must develop trust and build strong relationships with Commission members, and should be clearly empowered by local leaders such as a mayor, county executive, police chief, or district attorney.

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