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Director: Thomas Abt


Mailing Address: 

Violence Reduction Center

Dept of Criminology and Criminal Justice

University of Maryland

2220 Samuel J. LeFrak Hall

7251 Preinkert Drive

College Park, MD 20742

Phone:  301.405.4699


The Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction (“the VRC”) works to identify and support solutions that reduce community violence by combining rigorous research with practical know-how. With an emphasis on community violence perpetrated with firearms, the VRC gathers the most rigorous research, synthesizes it, and then makes it available to all in accessible, easy-to-use formats. It also provides practical instruction to federal, state, and especially local leaders on how to choose, apply, and align the right combination of anti-violence strategies for their jurisdiction.


The Center's mission is simple: save lives by stopping violence using science. Researchers pursue this goal guided by three principles:

  • Scientific Rigor. Leveraging academic expertise, staff members emphasize strategies supported by strong evidence of effectiveness.

  • Real-World Relevance. Leveraging practitioner experience, researchers stress the sound implementation of strategies in the real world.

  • Independence. The Center is nonpartisan, with no financial or other interests in the strategies it recommends.

Sample Publications by VRC Staff

Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence – And a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets. Thomas Abt, 2019. Basic Books.


Towards a Framework for Preventing Community Violence Among Youth. Thomas Abt, 2017. Psychology, Health & Medicine.


What Works in Reducing Community Violence: A Meta-Review and Field Study for the Northern Triangle. 
Thomas Abt & Christopher Winship, 2016.


Focused Deterrence and Improved Police-Community Relations: Unpacking the Proverbial Black Box. Rod Brunson, 2015. Criminology & Public Policy.

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