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Original Articles
  1. Violence Prevention: In Schools and Youth Settings
  2. Interventions to Prevent Youth Violence
  3. (PDF) Youth Violence; Theory, Prevention and Intervention | Kathryn Seifert -
  4. The Root Causes of Youth Violence: A Review of Major Theoretical Perspectives

Community violence theory, full version. Biological, psychological, and developmental theories influence people, or p e. Social, cultural, and environmental theories impact either the social or physical environment, i. All of these theories affect motivations and behavior, i.

Lastly, this framework can be consolidated by merging time into place and motivation into people Figure 4. Community violence, in this simplified equation, becomes a function of places, people, and behaviors:. Figure 4. Community violence theory, simplified version.

Critically, understanding community violence in this manner reflects how such violence actually behaves in the real world. One of the most powerful criminological findings from the past two decades is that community violence is sticky, clustering tightly in specific places, among specific people, and around specific behaviors.

StreetSafe Boston. In most metropolitan areas,. Fixing fragile cities: Solutions for urban violence and poverty. Foreign Affairs , January 15, Crime and policing, revisited.

Violence Prevention: In Schools and Youth Settings

New perspectives in policing bulletin. Washington, DC : U. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. Police crackdowns on illegal gun carrying: a systematic review of their impact on gun crime. Journal of Experimental Criminology , 2 , — Violence prevention: The evidence.

Geneva, Switzerland : World Health Organization. Collective and normative features of gang violence. Justice Quarterly , 13 , — In addition, understanding community violence in terms of places, people, and behaviors is more easily grasped and readily implemented by practitioners than other conceptual frameworks.

Hot spot and problem-oriented policing strategies, for instance, have been disseminated around the globe, familiarizing many law enforcement agencies with at the least a rudimentary understanding of place, people, and behavior-based strategies. To capture potential responses to the challenges posed by community violence, a framework can look to the public health field, which generally organizes anti-violence efforts into primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention as shown in Figure 5.

Primary prevention addresses risk factors associated with violence in the general population. Secondary prevention focuses on sub-populations with risk factors for future violence either as victims or perpetrators. Tertiary prevention attempts to intervene with those already engaged in violent behavior.

Interventions to Prevent Youth Violence

Figure 5. Public health model, original version. This model has many advantages. First, it classifies efforts by risk level with the understanding that as risk levels increase, fewer individuals are implicated. Second, it emphasizes prevention, a crucial component of a collective anti-violence response that has been traditionally underappreciated and underutilized.

Third, the model is familiar to most public health practitioners and many others in the field, making it accessible and easy to use. The public health model also has a number of disadvantages.

Promoting Healthy, Nonviolent Children

First and foremost, it ignores law enforcement, the traditional institution charged with responding to crime and violence. This alone renders the model incomplete. Law enforcement is an essential partner in any community violence prevention strategy, and violence prevention efforts will be inhibited if police and prosecutors view their role as purely reactive.

Webinar: Preventing Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Among Youth

Violence prevention should be viewed and defined broadly in order to include law enforcement efforts to stop violence before it begins. Secondly, the public health model has yet to provide a clear explanation to practitioners of how tertiary prevention operates in the context of violence prevention.

Under tertiary prevention, the model tends to conflate prevention and rehabilitation — two practices that are generally conducted separately in the field. Third, in practice the model has generally placed an exaggerated emphasis on primary prevention, an important but not necessarily dominant element of an evidence-informed, multi-sector response for preventing community violence. For these reasons, the public health model should be modified when used in relation to community violence Figure 6.

(PDF) Youth Violence; Theory, Prevention and Intervention | Kathryn Seifert -

First, suppression should be added to account for the role of law enforcement. Suppression prevents violence via deterrence and incapacitation, generally but not exclusively through threats of arrest and incarceration. Second, tertiary prevention and rehabilitation should be separated into discrete categories. Figure 6. Public health model, revised version. Having provided a conceptual framework for understanding both the problem of and solutions to community violence, we now combine our criminology-based theory of community violence with our modified public health model, mapping places, people, and behaviors against prevention primary, secondary, and tertiary , suppression, and rehabilitation, creating a grid with a total of fifteen sections Table 1.

This framework is theoretically sound, reasonably complete, informed by the evidence, and implementable in practice. As noted previously, different forms of violence require different strategies. This framework is carefully constructed in order to address community violence among youth, especially lethal violence. Addressing other forms of violence will require different strategies, partners, and frameworks. As discussed further below, an approach carefully constructed to address one form of violence cannot be casually transferred to other forms of violence, such as family violence or violence perpetrated by organized crime, without significant modification.

An effective anti-community violence framework should be populated with strategies informed by the best and most rigorously generated evidence, data, and information available. In addition, selected programmatic strategies should be suitable for and tailored to the local context in which it will operate. Finally, in order to be effective, programming must be soundly implemented.

In some analyses, well-implemented interventions outperform poorly implemented ones, even if the latter have stronger, more evidence-informed designs Lipsey, Lipsey, M. The primary factors that characterize effective interventions with juvenile offenders: A meta-analytic overview. Tension between these principles is unavoidable, and mitigating such tension is a complex matter of professional judgment. Conclusions from that report are summarized and elaborated upon below in order to provide initial guidance on how best to populate the proposed framework.

Urban renewal strategies are associated with reduced crime and violence as well as improvements in police legitimacy and collective efficacy, but the number and quality of studies supporting these findings are limited Cassidy et al. A systematic review of the effects of poverty deconcentration and urban upgrading on youth violence. Effects of improved street lighting on crime: a systematic review.

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London, England : Home Office. The effects of closed-circuit television on crime: Meta-analysis of an English national quasi-experimental multi-site evaluation. Journal of Experimental Criminology , 3 , 21 — Justice Quarterly , 26 , — Neighborhood watch programs yielded similarly modest effects Bennett et al. Does neighborhood watch reduce crime?

A systematic review and meta-analysis. Urban revitalization and environmental crime prevention efforts are worthwhile for a multitude of reasons, but if the intended purpose is violence prevention specifically, their focus should be restricted to those micro-locations that generate the greatest amounts of such conduct.

Researchers disagree as to the impacts of vocational training on criminal behavior, reflecting a broader uncertainty in the field as to the effectiveness of stand-alone employment, vocational, and training programs Aos et al. Ex-offender employment programs and recidivism: A meta-analysis. Journal of Experimental Criminology , 1 , — What works in youth violence prevention: a review of the literature.

Research on social work practice, 23 , — A rapid evidence assessment of the impact of mentoring on re-offending: A summary. London : Home Office. As with place-based primary prevention, such programs could improve performance with additional focus on youth at the greatest risk for violence. In addition, pairing such programming with proven strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy CBT examined further below could also enhance effectiveness.

More promising were school and especially family-based interventions, particularly when such efforts employed CBT.

The Root Causes of Youth Violence: A Review of Major Theoretical Perspectives

Making sure these programs serve the schools and families most impacted by violence will further strengthen anti-violence outcomes. Juvenile curfews, gang prevention, and gun buyback strategies all demonstrated no impacts on crime or violence Adams, Adams, K. The effectiveness of juvenile curfews at crime prevention.

Effectiveness of street gang control strategies: A systematic review and meta-analysis of evaluation studies Public Safety Canada. No systemic reviews examining place-based secondary prevention interventions were identified. An exploration of why systematic causal evidence is available for certain framework categories but not others would be worthwhile but is beyond the scope of this article.

CBT uses clinical psychological techniques to alter the distorted thinking and behavior of criminal and juvenile offenders. Effects of cognitive-behavioral programs for criminal offenders: A systematic review. Campbell systematic reviews , 3 6.