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Executive Summary:

Violence in Baltimore – Social Science Resources for Journalists and Public Officials

On April 27, 2015 Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the growing violence and unrest in Baltimore City. Freddie Gray’s premature death sparked arson, looting, and mob aggression among Baltimore’s citizens. The rest of America looked on in amazement as the Governor and Mayor searched for answers.

But Baltimore’s social woes are anything but extraordinary. Baltimore has the fifth highest murder rate and the seventh-highest violent crime rate in America, and criminal activity only seems to be worsening. Top-down reform has failed and will likely continue to fail until society (not just policymakers) promote intact married families, the strongest generator of educated youth, low delinquency, economic growth, and sexual mores. Major federal and state public policy outcomes all illustrate government’s dependence on the intact family for the achievement of its stated policy goals. Government will likely continue to fail to achieve its goals if it (and other major institutions, including the media, schools, universities and even churches) continues to neglect the reality of this dependence.