clear Federal Programs

Partnerships To Reduce Juvenile Gun Violence -- U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In 1997, as part of its commitment to address the escalating problem of youth violence, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded grants to demonstration sites to implement partnerships to reduce juvenile gun violence. The purpose of these partnerships is to increase the effectiveness of existing youth gun violence reduction strategies by enhancing and coordinating prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies and strengthening linkages between community residents, law enforcement, and the juvenile justice system. The program is based on research showing that a community assessment of the local youth gun violence problems should guide program development and that program implementation should use suppression intervention and multiple prevention strategies. The sites seek to: (1) reduce illegal gun availability to juveniles, (2) reduce the incidence of juveniles illegally carrying guns, (3) reduce juvenile gun-related crime, (4) increase youth awareness of the personal and legal consequences of gun violence, (5) increase participation of community residents and organizations in public safety efforts, (6) improve community residents' attitudes toward law enforcement and alleviate their concerns about safety, and (7) increase and coordinate services and resources for at-risk juveniles, especially juveniles involved in the justice system. Seven strategies are being implemented to achieve these goals:

  • Institute a suppression strategy that reduces juvenile access to illegal guns and illegal gun trafficking by developing special gun units, using community allies to report illegal gun trafficking, targeting gang members and illegal guns, targeting for prosecution those who possess, and imposing sanctions on those who are involved in gun violence.

  • Develop a juvenile justice strategy that applies appropriate interventions to respond to the needs of juvenile gun offenders. These interventions may include family counseling, victim impact counseling, drug abuse treatment, probation, and community supervision.

  • Implement a law enforcement strategy that expands neighborhood communication, includes community policing, and initiates community supervision to educate at-risk and court-involved juveniles on the legal consequences of gun violence.

  • Provide positive opportunities for youth, such as mentoring, job-readiness training, and afterschool programs.

  • Institute an educational strategy in which students learn how to resolve conflicts, resist peer pressure to carry or possess guns, and distinguish between real life and television violence.

  • Implement a public information strategy that uses radio, local television, and print outlets to communicate the dangers and consequences of gun violence to juveniles and youth and to present information about positive youth activities in the community.

  • Implement a community mobilization strategy that engages neighborhood residents, including youth, in improving the community.

Contact information:

Frank Smith or Jeff Slowikowski
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Justice
810 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20531

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Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence OJJDP Report