RELEASE: New Issue Brief Highlights Benefits of Centering Youth in Violence Intervention Programs
Washington, D.C. — Violent crime—primarily caused by lax gun laws—has become a top concern for voters, yet many elected officials, policymakers, and media outlets have mistakenly placed the blame on young people. A new issue brief released today by the Center for American Progress highlights the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to gun violence inflicted on youth and examines how community violence intervention (CVI) programs are an important part of that approach in order to prevent crime before it happens and meet young people where they are. The issue brief also spotlights two well-established CVI programs in Los Angeles and Chicago that are working effectively to support young people’s overall health and well-being.
“Young people are not to blame for the recent surge in gun violence nationwide, yet they are often bearing the brunt of America’s weak gun laws,” said Rachael Eisenberg, senior director for Criminal Justice Reform at CAP and co-author of the issue brief. “At a critical moment in young people’s lives, CVI programs are able to meet them where they are and make a significant difference in the lives of both individual participants and entire communities.”
Several notable findings include:
- From 2017 to 2020, the total number of young people arrested fell by 50 percent.
- CVI programs have been shown to curb violence by up to 60 percent in areas where they are properly implemented.
- In Chicago, youth who participate in the Choose to Change CVI program have 48 percent fewer arrests for violent crimes than their nonparticipant peers.
- In Los Angeles’ Gang Reduction and Youth Development program from 2011 to 2016, 58 percent of participants saw such a significant reduction in risk level that they were no longer eligible for services.
Read the issue brief: “Centering Youth in Community Violence Interventions as Part of a Comprehensive Approach to Countering Gun Violence” by Terrell Thomas and Rachael Eisenberg
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.